Share this entry

Share this page

promethium

Line breaks: pro|me¦thium
Pronunciation: /prəˈmiːθɪəm
 
/

Definition of promethium in English:

noun

[mass noun]
The chemical element of atomic number 61, a radioactive metal of the lanthanide series. It was first produced artificially in a nuclear reactor and occurs in nature in traces as a product of uranium fission. (Symbol: Pm)
Example sentences
  • Finally in 1945, scientists isolated promethium from uranium fission products purified by ion-exchange chromatography.
  • In fact, the elements with atomic numbers 43, 61, and 85 (technetium, promethium, and astatine, respectively) were unknown on earth until some of their radioactive isotopes had been produced synthetically.
  • The only missing one was element number 61, which was eventually isolated from the debris of the radioactive decay of uranium and given the name of promethium, after the Greek god who gave man fire.

Origin

1940s: modern Latin, from the name of the Titan Prometheus.

Definition of promethium in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day vicarious
Pronunciation: vɪˈkɛːrɪəs
adjective
experienced in the imagination through another person's feelings…