Iodine, with the chemical symbol I and atomic number 53, was first discovered in 1811 by the French chemist Bernard Courtois. He isolated it from seaweed ash and recognized its distinctive chemical properties. The name of the element is derived from the Greek word "iodes," meaning "purple."
On Earth, iodine is found in trace amounts, constituting about 0.00006% of the Earth's crust. It is primarily present in seawater and certain rocks. Iodine is an essential trace element for living organisms and plays a crucial role in the functioning of the thyroid gland.
Iodine has various exciting applications. In medicine, it is used in the production of X-ray contrast agents, and it serves as a disinfectant in the form of iodine solutions. In the food industry, it is employed as an additive for fortifying foods.