Dmitri Mendeleev predicted some of the properties of element 43, but it remained stubbornly undiscovered until l937.
The reason it was hard to discover is that the radioactive element doesn’t really exist on Planet Earth.
Its great claim to fame is that it was the first element to be synthesised, hence its name, technetium, from the Greek tekhnetos, meaning ‘artificial’, says Professor Allan Blackman from the Auckland University of Technology, in episode 81 of Elemental.
The Elemental podcast is celebrating 150 years since the periodic table was first published by Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev.
Find out more about events during the United Nation’s International Year of the Periodic Table.
Professor Allan Blackman is at Auckland University of Technology.