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In 1925 two German chemists, Walter Karl Friedrich Noddack (1893-1960) and Ida Eva Tacke (b. 1896), detected a new element with the atomic number of 75. They named it rhenium, after the Latin name of the Rhine river.

Although they didn't know it at the time, Noddack and Tacke (they were married the next year) had discovered the eighty-first and last element that possessed stable isotopes. Four elements between 1 and 92 now remained to be discovered, atomic numbers 43, 61, 85, and 87. Of these, elements 85 and 87 could be assumed to be radioactive, but there seemed no reason to suppose that elements 43 and 61 were. In fact, Noddack and Tacke announced the discovery of element 43 at the same time as that of rhenium. They called element 43 masurium, after a district in eastern Germany. In the case of this element, however, their observations were mistaken.

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Author:Asimov, Isaac
Publication:Asimov's Chronology of Science & Discovery, Updated ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1994
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