Technetium is a chemical element that is represented by the chemical symbol Tc and the atomic number 43. There are no stable isotopes of technetium, which means that every known form is radioactive, and it is the first element on the periodic table with this property. The only naturally occurring technetium comes from spontaneous fission in uranium ores or neutron capture in molybdenum ores. Let’s find out when this radioactive silvery-gray metal was first discovered.
Who discovered technetium?
The existence of technetium was first proposed long before it was discovered. The early forms of the periodic table created in the 1860′s by Dimitri Mendeleev had a gap between elements 42 and 44 because scientists before this time had already predicted the missing element. There were many claims of discovery from 1828 through to 1925 when German chemists Walter Noddack, Otto Berg, and Ida Tacke reported the discovery of element 43, which they named masurium. However, their experiments were not able to be repeated and it was thought to be an error.
The official discovery of technetium occurred in 1936 during an experiment at the University of Palermo in Sicily, Italy. Carlo Perrier and Emilio Segrè are today credited with the discovery of technetium. This element was the first artificially synthesized element to be discovered and the scientists gave it the name technetium after the Greek word meaning artificial.
In 1962 an extremely small quantity of naturally occurring technetium was discovered as a spontaneous fission product of uranium.