In Poems

Julie Hyde

There is a purple element called iodine
But let me take you back to when it was first seen
Discovered by Bernard Courtois in Paris
Trying to make salt petre he instead made this
Looking to use the potassium in seaweed
To make the salt petre that the people would need
Adding acid to seaweed he had a surprise
A purple vapour appeared right before his eyes
Which condensed to crystals of metallic lustre
To work out what it was took all he could muster
A new element they chose to call iodine
As purple, in Greek, is what iodine does mean
And iodine also helps with our protection
An antiseptic that can prevent infection
Iodine helps with the function of the thyroid
Which is key to many illnesses you avoid
Now I come to the end of this iodine rhyme
Solid, purple vapour, solid. It is sublime!

Written by Julie and an anonymous contributor!


About the Author

I’m Julie and I’m a Senior University Teacher in Chemistry at the University of Sheffield.  I am passionate about teaching chemistry and have recently been awarded a National Teaching Fellow fellowship and in my spare time, I’m involved with the Royal Society of Chemistry, delivering many external public and outreach activities. I love purple! I deliver a “Perkins Purple” lecture, have a purple office and a purple car and some students even call me the “Purple Professor” – I have not changed colour yet… Iodine was the perfect element for me!