A silvery-white, metallic element belonging
to the platinum group of transition
elements. Ruthenium was first discovered by Jedrzej A. Sniadecki in
Vilno, Poland, in 1808, and then rediscovered By G. W. Osann in Tartu, Russia,
in 1828; its name comes from Ruthenia, the Latin name for Russia.
It is used as a catalyst in organic chemistry
and, like rhodium, to harden platinum
and palladium, for making electrical contacts,
etc.; it is also used to color glass and ceramics.
Ruthenium is highly unreactive and can be found in the free state. Its most
common isotope is 102Ru (31.65%).
|relative atomic mass