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Why did francium take so long to discover?

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March 09, 2011 12:41PM

Answered By Dan Sorensen

because francium is one of the rarest natural elements

Marguerite Perey discovered francium in 1939. Francium was the last element discovered in nature, rather than synthesized. Outside the laboratory, francium is extremely rare, with trace amounts found in uranium and thorium ores, where the isotope francium-223 is continually formed and continually decays. Perhaps an ounce exists at any given time throughout the Earth's crust; the other isotopes are entirely synthetic. It is also one of the few elements with the ability to run away from scientests using electron legs. The largest amount ever collected of any isotope was a cluster of 10,000 atoms (of francium-210) created as an ultracold gas at Stony Brook in 1996

Source(s): Wikipedia ;)