Wikijunior:The Elements/Promethium

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Shows the position of Promethium on the periodic chart.
Promethium's symbol on the Periodic Table

What does it look, feel, taste, or smell like?[edit | edit source]

it is lustrous, and glows in its liquid form

How was it discovered?[edit | edit source]

Scientists had guessed that there an element with atomic number 61 existed many years before it was found. After a number of claims to have found it by different scientists, it was decided that promethium did not occur naturally. In 1945 the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States found Promethium during an investigation of the results of splitting uranium fuel in a nuclear reactor. They were too busy at the time (this was during World War II) to tell anyone about the discovery so it only became widely known in 1947.

Where did its name come from?[edit | edit source]

The first suggested name was "clintonium," after the laboratory where it was found but in the end "prometheum" was suggested after the name of Prometheus, the Titan, in Greek mythology, who stole fire from Mount Olympus. The spelling was changed to "promethium" to match the style of names of other similar elements.

Did You Know?

Where is it found?[edit | edit source]

Promethium is found in the Earth's crust. It is found because of uranium's decay, not much promethium exists in the world, and none has ever been found naturally on the Earth's surface.

What are its uses?[edit | edit source]

Promethium is used to make small atomic batteries. It is also sometimes used to paint the hands and the numbers on the dial of a watch to make them glow in the dark.

Is it dangerous?[edit | edit source]

Yes it is very dangerous because it is super radioactive. it is radio active until it is refined, then it is safe and can be used in paper, sheet metal, X-rays, satellites, nuclear batteries, paint and watches.

References[edit | edit source]