Tag: Elements

Pique the Geek (Elements) 20120708: Boron – Widely Used and Uncommon

If you follow this series closely, you will remember that the last element that we covered was lithium, and so the next one should be beryllium.  However, I wrote about beryllium recently and so you can just follow the link.

Last week I wrote about fireworks safety, and my piece was prescient and unfortunately evidently not read by some unfortunate youths in Arkansas.  My friend, who often comments here using the handle justasabeverage, sent me the newspaper article by email the other day that covers the topic after the fold.

Pique the Geek 20120429: Technetium, An odd Element

Last week a commenter suggested this topic, and I am always happy to get reader feedback and try to honor requests.  Technetium is one of only two elements with an atomic number (Z) less than 82 (Z =  43) without a stable isotope, the other one being promethium, with Z = 61.  Dimitri Mendeleev predicted this element after he had perfected the Periodic Table of the elements in 1871.  He called it ekamanganese since it occupies the place in the table one row under manganese.

Technetium was claimed to have been discovered over and over, and credit to its discovery goes to Emilio Segre and Carlo Perrier in 1936.  It was discovered in a foil that Ernest Lawrence had given Segre that was composed of molybdenum.  Some of the molybdenum had been transmuted into technetium, and the Italian team confirmed this.