Mary Ann Waxler

Technetium is employed in over half of all nuclear medicine procedures.Technetium-99m is used to image the skeleton and organs, the heart muscle in particular. Myocardial Perfusion Imaging (MPI) uses technetium for detection and prognosis of coronary artery disease.

Isolated in 1937, Technetium was the first man-made element. It’s produced by bombarding molybdenum-98 with neutrons.


Mary Ann Waxler

Rhodium was discovered by William Hyde Wollaston, an English chemist, in 1804.The first rhodium was rose colored so it was named after the Greek word for rose, rhodon.

Rhodium is usually obtained as a by-product of mining and refining platinum. It’s used to make electrical contacts, in jewelry and catalytic converters. Its main use is as an alloying agent in other materials such as platinum and palladium. Rhodium is the rarest of all non-radioactive metals on Earth.


Chromium, a transition metal, is used in the production of stainless steel, in corrosion resistant platings and as a pigment in glass. We are more apt to think of it as the shiny parts of our cars and motorcycles.

The film carriers on this square are a nod to hexavalent chromium, which was used in the processing of the once popular Kodachrome 35mm slide film. Use of the film declined with the advance of digital photography and it was discontinued by Kodak in 2009.


Mercury is a silvery-white poisonous metal that’s liquid at room temperature. It has been in use since ancient times. Alchemists took its modern name from the fastest moving planet and the fleet-footed mythical Roman messenger of the gods, Mercury. It’s used in barometers, thermometers, mercury switches and other electrical applications such as mercury/vapor lamps.

Freddie Mercury, lead singer of ┬áthe rock group Queen, seems right at home riding the Mercury rocket. His on-stage persona was mercurial, his voice commanded us to listen. Long after his death from AIDS in 1991 he’s still garnering new fans. Real showmen are rare.


atomic model of Germanium

Germanium was discovered in 1886 and is obtained by refining copper, zinc or lead. It is used for making transistors for use in electronic devices and is also used in infrared optical instruments and infrared detectors. Germanium compounds are currently being studied for use in chemotherapy.

Detail showing the diodes attached, which are made with Germanium: