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What the name means: The word tin has been used since Anglo Saxon times. The symbol for the element tin is Sn. This originates from the Latin word, stannum. The word stannum itself derives from an Indo-European word stag or stagnum, meaning "dripping". Tin was probably described like this because it melts easily.
Who identified tin?: Tin is one of the oldest metals to be used by man. Tools from 3500 BC have been found to contain tin. Since tin is too soft to be used on its own, early man learned to mix it with other metals. It was the use of the alloy formed when tin and copper are fused together that gave its name to the Bronze Age. Tin mining started over 4000 years ago. The last tin mine in Cornwall, UK was closed down in 1998.
STP = standard temperature and pressure.
About tin: Useful alloys of tin are solder, pewter and bronze. Tin can be used to coat steel cans to prevent corrosion. Since tin is toxic to some invertebrates, it is present in solutions used to cover the hulls of ships to prevent barnacles attaching themselves to the surface.
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