Uranium 200 years

1989/12/01 Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

Two hundred years and three months ago, the chemist of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Prussia, Martin Heinrich Klaproth, announced in Berlin the discovery of a new element. He called him Uranus, in honor of the new planet discovered by Herschel eight years earlier.

In the mines of Bohemia, Joagimstal, the mineral called Pekblenda was known. Since the beginning of the twentieth century. The mineral generated fluorescence in mineral hollows. This feature affected Klaproth's curiosity and decided to find an exact source of fluorescence.

From several kilos of pecblenda, he isolated the black powder of semi-metallic appearance, a new element called Uranus. However, Klaproth did not find an empty uranium, but an own oxide. Pure metal was isolated in 1841 by French chemist Eugène Melchoir Périgot.

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