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What the name means: Protactinium was given its name because the first sample obtained from the nuclear fission of uranium had a very short half life, decaying into the element actinium.
Who identified protactinium?: The element was first observed in 1913 by Kasimir Fajans and Otto H. Göhring in Karlsruhe, Germany. They had studied the products of uranium decay and found an element that had a very short half-life. They named this element brevium (because of the brevity of its existence).
In 1918, two other groups of researchers, Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn in Germany and Frederick Soddy and John Cranston in the UK, produced a longer lasting isotope of the element. The German team named protoactinium because it decayed to actinium. This name was shortened to protactinium in 1949.
STP = standard temperature and pressure.
About protactinium: Protactinium is a radio active element that occurs naturally in trace amounts in uranium ores. It is produced by the radio active decay of uranium, thorium and plutonium. In 1961 about 54,5 tonnes of radio active waste was processed in the UK. It provided 125 grammes of protactinium at a cost of half a million dollars!
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