At One with the Elements
Promethium was discovered almost 75 years ago, but only now are spectroscopic approaches unveiling key properties of this rare element.
Matthew Hallam |
The periodic table might have reached the ripe old age of 150 this year, but there are still a number of key questions hiding within Mendeleev’s iconic chart. Only in 2019 have we confirmed the ionization potential of promethium (element number 61 of 118 known elements) – with that gap filled, all elements up to lawrencium (element 103) have now had their atomic properties experimentally determined. We spoke to Ulli Köster (Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble, France), a nuclear physicist-come-chemist and contributor to the study, to find out more.
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