Iridium was discovered in 1803 as part of a residue left when crude platinum was dissolved in aqua regia. Iridium has many applications due to its attractive physical and chemical properties. Iridium is resistant to corrosion and most acids; therefore, is used as a catalyst and as an alloying agent. Iridium alloys are used in aircraft engine parts, deep-water pipes and spark plugs. Iridium is also used in devices such as high-temperature crucibles due to its high melting point. In Marvel's The Avengers, Dr. Erik Selvig needed iridium to stabilize the tesseract-created portal to bring the Chitauri to Earth. However, there is no known use of iridium in stabilizing space portals.
More info about the International Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT) in crystals project:
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