Czechoslovak Journal of Physics

, Volume 49, Supplement 1, pp 35–40 | Cite as

Contribution of the industrial chemical processing of pitchblende in Jáchymov to the first isolation of radium

  • M. Vobecký
Part 1 Chemistry of Natural Radionuclides, Discovery of Radium and Polonium


The uranium ore chemical processing plant in Jáchymov (St. Joachimstal) started the industrial production of uranium yellow (sodium diuranate) in 1853. This technology was developed by a talented metallurgical chemist Adolf Patera. The insoluble residue from uranium leaching was enriched by radium226Ra. During more than forty years before discovery of radioactivity, a worthless waste was accumulated in this uranium plant. This waste as radium preconcentrate was present in a suitable chemical form for the subsequent separation of radium. The occurence of this material significantly facilitated the separation and isolation of the first pure weighable amount of radium, necessary to prove the existence of a new chemical element, discovered in 1898 by M. and P. Curie and G. Bémont.


Uranium Radium Tetravalent Uranium Uranium Leaching Ammonium Diuranate 
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Copyright information

© Institute of Physics, Acad. Sci. CR 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Vobecký
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Analytical ChemistryAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPrague 4Czech Republic

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