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Open Access Bicentenary of Four Platinum Group Metals

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The years 2002 to 2004 mark the bicentenaries of the discoveries of rhodium, palladium, iridium and osmium. Two remarkable people were responsible for their discoveries ‐ William Hyde Wollaston (1766‐1828) the discoverer of rhodium and palladium, and his friend Smithson Tennant (1761‐1815) the discoverer of iridium and osmium. This and a subsequent paper will seek to retell the stories of their discoveries, and to indicate the growing usefulness of the metals throughout the nineteenth century to their importance today. In this first part we will discuss Wollaston and his discoveries. Part II, to be published in a later issue, will complete the story with Tennant’s discoveries of the more intractable elements iridium and osmium.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2003

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