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Neodymium is a soft silvery metal that oxidizes when it is exposed to air. It is a chemical element and it represented by the atomic number 60 and the chemical symbol Nd. It is never found in free form in nature, but it can be found as a part of certain minerals, such as monazite and bastnäsite. It is classified as a rare earth element, but is actually very common in the crust of the Earth (it is estimated that the neodymium reserves could be higher than 8 million metric tons). About 7,000 metric tons are produced each year. The largest producer of this metal is China and other significant producers include the United States, India, Brazil, Sri Lanka, and Australia. Let’s find out who discovered this element.
Polonium is a very rare and radioactive element which is found naturally in uranium ore. Polonium is sometimes considered to be a metal, but is also sometimes classified a metalloid (an element with features of both metal and non-metal) because of its position on the periodic table. It is a chemical element with the atomic number 84 and the chemical symbol Po. There are 33 isotopes of polonium and polonium-210 has the longest half-life of any of the naturally occurring isotopes at 138.376 days. This means that it is a very rare element in nature. Early extraction techniques yielded just 9 mg of the element from 37 metric tons of residue from radium production! Today it is obtained by irradiating bismuth, which is far more reliable. Let’s find out who discovered this rare element.
Barium is a soft, highly reactive, silvery metal that is never found in its free form in nature. Barium is a chemical element represented by the symbol Ba and the atomic number 56. In nature this element is found in certain minerals such as barite and witherite. Barite (baryte) is the main commercial source of this element and it is estimated that the reserves of this mineral could be as high as 2 billion metric tons. About 8 million tons of this mineral are produced each year and China is the lead producer (50% of all production). Chemical compounds containing barium have been known since the Middle Ages, but the discovery of the element came after this time. Let’s find out who discovered barium.
Tellurium is a rare silvery-white metal that is occasionally found in its free form on Earth. It is a chemical element represented by the symbol Te and the atomic number 52. It is often found in minerals that also contain gold, but is found in many other minerals as well. It is extremely rare (about as rare as platinum) and is usually obtained for commercial purposes as a byproduct of copper or lead mining and production. The largest producers of this metal are Canada, Japan, Peru and the United States. It is commonly used for creating alloys that respond well to machining. Let’s find out who discovered this element.
Molybdenum is a chemical element and is represented by the chemical symbol Mo and the atomic number 42. It is a silver metal with the sixth highest melting point of any element. It is never found as a free metal naturally on Earth, but can be found in many minerals. The most important of these minerals is molybdenite, which accounts for much of the commercial supply. Molybdenum is also mined as a byproduct of copper and tungsten mining. It is the 54th most common element in the crust of the Earth and the largest producers are China, the United States, Chile, Peru and Mexico. It has many important uses, including in the creation of superalloys. Let’s find out who discovered this element.
Strontium is a highly reactive silvery-white metal that turns yellow when exposed to air. It is a chemical element with the symbol Sr and the atomic number 38. Strontium is relatively common in nature and is the 15% most common element on the planet. It is found naturally in the minerals celestine and strontianite. The most important mineral in terms of strontium production is celestite and the largest producer in the world is China. Let’s find out who discovered this element.
Samarium is a relatively hard silver metal which oxidizes quickly in air to develop a grayish-yellow tarnish. It is a chemical element represented by the symbol Sm and the atomic number 62. It is the 40th most common element in the crust of the Earth and although it is not found in free form naturally it is contained in many minerals. The most important of these minerals for commercial production of the element are monazite and bastnaesite. It is estimated that there are two million metric tons of this metal and about 700 metric tons are produced each year. Countries with the largest deposits include; China, the United States, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka and Australia. Let’s find out when this element was discovered and who made this discovery.
Rhenium is a silvery-white metal with the highest boiling point of any element and third highest melting point. It is a chemical element represented by the symbol Re and the atomic number 75. It is one of the rarest elements on Earth and it is never found in free form in nature. Commercial rhenium is sourced from the mineral molybdenite, which usually contains about 0.2% of the element. Chile is thought to have the largest reserves of rhenium as a part of the large copper ore deposits. The country also produces most of the world’s supply of the metal. Let’s find out who discovered this element.
Yttrium is a silver metal that is not found as a free metal in nature. It is a chemical element represented by the symbol Y and atomic number 39. Yttrium is often classified as a rare earth metal, but it is the 28th most common element in the crust of the Earth. It is commonly found in rare earth minerals where, despite being difficult to separate, it is obtained for commercial use. About 600 metric tons are produced each year for a number of important uses. Let’s find out who discovered this element.
Osmium is a blue-black or blue-gray metal that belongs to the platinum family of elements. It is a chemical element represented by the symbol Os and the atomic number 76. It is found naturally on earth where it usually forms alloys with other platinum group metals. It is an extremely rare element and is the least common of any stable element in the crust of the earth. It is obtained for commercial purposes as a by-product of copper, nickel and platinum processing. However, very little is produced each year because it is rare, has few uses and is extremely toxic. Let’s find out who discovered this element.