61. Promethium - Elementymology & Elements Multidict

Elementymology & Elements Multidict

This site comprises 120 pages of text and photos, one for each element, and several pages for access. – For captions or explanatory texts move your mouse over illustrations, links etc.

Promethium – Promethium – Prométhium – Promécio – プロメチウム – Прометий – 鉅
Multilingual dictionary

Promethium Latin

— Germanic
Promethium Afrikaans
Promethium Danish
Promethium German
Promethium English
Promethium Faroese
Promethium Frisian (West)
Prómetín, ²Prómeþín Icelandic
Promethium Luxembourgish
Promethium Dutch
Promethium Norwegian
Prometium Swedish

— Italic
Prometio Aragonese
Prometiumu Aromanian
Prometiu Asturian
Prometi Catalan
Promécio Spanish
Prométhium French
Prometi Friulian
Prometio Galician
Promezio Italian
Prumézzi Lombard
Prometi Occitan
Promécio Portuguese
Promeţiu Romanian - Moldovan

— Slavic
Прометий [Prometij] Bulgarian
Promethijum, ²Prometij Bosnian
Праметый [prametyj] Belarusian
Promethium Czech
Prometij Croatian
Promet Kashubian
Прометиум [Prometium] Macedonian
Promet Polish
Прометий [Prometij] Russian
Promethium Slovak
Prometij Slovenian
Прометијум [Prometijum] Serbian
Прометій [prometij] Ukrainian

— Baltic
Prometis Lithuanian
Prometijs Latvian
Pruometis Samogitian

— Celtic
Prometiom Breton
Promethiwm Welsh
Próméitiam Gaelic (Irish)
Promèitiam Gaelic (Scottish)
Promaiçhum Gaelic (Manx)
Promethyum Cornish

— Other Indo-European
Προμηθειο [promitheio] Greek
Պրոմեթիում [promet'ium] Armenian
Promet, ²Promethiumi Albanian

— Indo-Iranian/Iranian
Prometyûm Kurdish
Прометий [prometij] Ossetian
Прометий [Prometi'] Tajik

— Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryan
প্রমিথিয়াম [pramithiẏāma] Bengali
پرومتیم [prwmtym] Persian
પ્રોમીનિયમનો [promīniyamano] Gujarati
प्रोमेथियम [promethiyama] Hindi

Promeetium Estonian
Prometium Finnish
Promécium Hungarian
Прометий [Prometij] Komi
Прометий [Prometij] Mari
Промети [prometi] Moksha
Promeetium Võro

Prometium Azerbaijani
Промети [Prometi] Chuvash
Прометий [prometij] Kazakh
Прометий [Prometij] Kyrgyz
Промети [prometi] Mongolian
Prometyum Turkish
جۈي [jüy] Uyghur
Prometiy Uzbek

Other (Europe)
Prometioa Basque
პრომეთიუმი [promet'iumi] Georgian

بروميثيوم [brūmīthiyūm] Arabic
פרומתיום [prometium] Hebrew
Promizjum, ²Promezju Maltese

Ki (鉕) Hakka
プロメチウム [puromechiumu] Japanese
프로메튬 [peurometyum] Korean
โพรมีเทียม [phrōmīthiam] Thai
Prometi Vietnamese
[ju4 / gui6] Chinese

Prometyo Cebuano
Prometium Indonesian
Promethium Māori
Prometium Malay

Other Asiatic
പ്രൊമിതിയം [promitiyam] Malayalam
-- [--] Tamil

Pometu Lingala
Promethiamo Sesotho
Promethi Swahili

Prometio Nahuatl

Prometyu Quechua

Prometimi Sranan Tongo

Prometio Esperanto

New names
Promion Atomic Elements
Creatium Dorseyville
memory peg

Radioactive metal. Presumed to be a reactive meal akin to Neodymium and Praseodymium
melting point ~1080 °C; ~1976 °F
boiling point 2460(?) °C; 4460(?) °F
density -- g/cc; -- pounds/cubic foot
1945 Charles D. Coryell, with Jack A. Marinsky and Lawrence E. Glendenin, United States
Προμηθευς (Prometheus), mythological figure (Greek)

History & Etymology

Promethium was the last of the rare-earths family elements to be discovered.
In 1902 the Czech chemist Bohuslav Brauner (1855-1935) improved Mendeleyev's period chart by extending it downward after Lanthanum. He predicted the existence of an element in between Neodymium and Samarium.

Henry Moseley's study of X-ray spectra confirmed in 1913-14 that an element was missing at atomic #61. A search of minerals containing adjoining elements brought claims of discovery.

  • 1924, the Italian chemist Luigi Rolla (1882-1960) with the young graduate Lorenzo Fernandes (1902-1977) in Florence, Italy, claimed to have discovered element #61. In 1924 he had sent a sealed envelope to the Royal Accademia dei Lincei in Rome containing his results on identification of element 61. He named it Florentium (Florenzio), symbol Fr (not Fl as it is often reported in scientific journals), after Florence in Italy.

  • 1926, B. Smith Hopkins (1873-1952) and his coworkers Len Yntema and a Canadian graduate student named Harris of the University of Illinois-Urbana (note) reported its discovery and suggested the name Illinium, (symbol Il) after the American state of Illinois. But other chemists, as the rare-earth specialist Wilhelm Prandtl (1878-1956) and Walter Noddack and Ida Tacke Noddack (1896-1979), discovers of Rhenium, were unable to confirm this new element.

  • 1938: Laurence L. Quill (1901-1989) and colleagues used the new Ohio State cyclotron to bombard Neodymium and Samarium with various projectiles. A number of radioactive isotopes were produced, presumably including one due to element #61 for which they proposed the name Cyclonium.

  • 1942: Element #61 probably made by Chien Shiung Wu, Emilio G. Segrè et Hans Albrecht Bethe during a bombardment of Neodymium and Praseodymium with neutrons. Chemical proof was lacking because of the difficulty in separating the rare earths from each other at that time.

Isolation and identification of element #61 was finally made in 1945 (confirmed 1947) by Charles D. Coryell (1912-1971) and his associates Jacob (Jack) A. Marinsky (b. 1918) and Lawrence E. Glendenin (1918-?), together with Harold G. Richter. They worked for the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where scientists had to create the fuel for an atomic bomb. They identified 14761 in the by-products uranium fission. Element #61 emitted beta rays with a 3.7-year half life. 14761 was confirmed by mass spectrograph. The most stable isotope currently known has a half-life of 25 years, too short to be in any of the minerals investigated in the 1920s.

In Greek mythology, Prometheus (Ancient Greek Προμηθεύς, 'forethought') is a Titan, the son of Iapetus and Themis, and brother to Atlas, Epimetheus and Menoetius. He was a champion of human-kind known for his wily intelligence, who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals. Zeus then punished him for his crime by having him bound to a rock while a great eagle ate his liver every day only to have it grow back to be eaten again the next day. His myth has been treated by a number of ancient sources, in which Prometheus is credited with – or blamed for – playing a pivotal role in the early history of humankind (note).

Grace Mary Coryell suggested the name Prometheum since Promethium does not exist except in fission products, it was named after Prometheus for the courage and pain needed to synthesize new elements. In 1949 the International Union of Chemistry adopted the spelling Promethium.

Further reading
  • Mary Elvira Weeks, Discovery of the Elements, comp. rev. by Henry M. Leicester (Easton, Pa.: Journal of Chemical Education, 1968), pp. 835-837.
  • M. Costa, M. Fontani, P. Papini, & P. Manzelli, "Storia dell'elemento 61", Memorie di Scienze Fisiche e Naturali. Accademia delle Scienze detta dei XL, 431, vol. XXI, serie V, parte II, tomo II, (1997) (In Italian, history of element 61, with a resumé in English).
  • M. Fontani, M. Costa, P. Manzelli, "Un elemento macato: il Florenzio." Il Chimico Italiano no. 1, 32, (1997).
(Thanks to Marco Fontani for sending me information)
Sources Index of Persons Index of Alleged Elements