The element cadmium was discovered in 1817 by Friedrich Stromeyer, a professor of chemistry at the University of Göttingen in Germany. Stromeyer noticed that a yellowish glow would occur when heat was applied to certain samples of calamine, a zinc-carbonate. This was unusual as the reaction was expected to be colorless. After further testing, Stromeyer deduced that an unknown metallic impurity in the carbonate caused the color change. He called the new metal "cadmium" after "kadmeia," the Greek word for calamine.