Elemental Discoveries

Follow in the footsteps of these giants of chemistry and identify the elements from a description of their first discovery or isolation.

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DiscoveryChemical ElementCredited Discoverer
Extracted from pitchblendeMartin Heinrich Klaproth; Pierre and Marie Curie; Andre-Louis Debierne
Liquefaction of air and nitrogenLord Rayleigh and William Ramsay
Reactions with mercuric oxideCarl Wilhelm Scheele and Joseph Priestley
Found to cause blue colouration in glassGeorg Brandt
Spectrum analysis of Norwegian zirconDirk Koster and Georg von Hervesy
Found in burnt seaweedBernard Courtois; Antoine Balard
Potassium reduction of sedative saltsHumphry Davy
By removing carbon dioxide from exhaled airDaniel Rutherford
Extracted from beryl and emerald gemstonesLouis-Nicolas Vauquelin
Electrolysis of potashHumphry Davy
Impurities in platinumWilliam Hyde Wollaston and Smithson Tennant; Karl Karlovich Klaus
Impurities in goldAntonio de Ulloa; Franz-Joseph Muller von Reichenstein
Found in a molybdenum sample used in a cyclotronCarlo Perrier and Emilio Segre
Found as a natural decay product of a previous radioactive elementFriedrich Ernst Dorn; William Crookes; Marguerite Perey
Extracted from pyrolusiteJohan Gottlieb Gahn; Humphry Davy
DiscoveryChemical ElementCredited Discoverer
Obtained from hydrochloric acidCarl Wilhelm Scheele
Extracted from magnesiaHumphry Davy
Extracted from molybdenaCarl Wilhelm Scheele
Electrolysis of quicklimeHumphry Davy
Produced by reacting strong acids with metalsParacelsus (observed) Henry Cavendish (identified)
Extracted from wolframiteJose and Fausto Elhuyar
Prepared from urineHennig Brand
Extracted from liquid argon samplesWilliam Ramsay and Morris Travers
Found as a yellow line in the solar spectrumPierre Jansen and Joseph Norman Lockyer
Extracted from gadoliniteMany, many scientists!
Extracted from samarskiteMarc Delafontaine; Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran
Unrecorded discovery in antiquityUnknown
Extracted from 'fake copper'Axel Frederik Cronstedt
Extracted from silicaJöns Jacob Berzelius
Spectrum analysis of Dürkheim mineral waterRobert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff

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