Stories About Chemistry
of the Hundred and Four
This is a little story about the fate of a chemical element. Its address is Flat No. 92 and its name is uranium. The name speaks for itself.
Two of the greatest scientific discoveries of all times and all peoples are connected with uranium. These are the discovery of radioactivity and the discovery of the fission of heavy nuclei by neutrons. Uranium gave people the key to the mastery of nuclear energy. Uranium helped them to produce elements unknown in nature: the transuranium elements, technetium and promethium.
Historical documents witness that the biography of uranium began September 24, 1789. All kinds of things have happened in the history of the discovery of the chemical elements. In some cases nobody knows who the discoverer was.
On the other hand there are elements that have a rather bulky list of "discoverers." But uranium's "godfather" has been established quite definitely. This was the Berlin chemist Martin Klaproth, one of the founders of analytical chemistry.
However, history has played a prank on him: Martin Heinrich Klaproth proved to be only one of the "godfathers" of our hero.