The mysterious element thulium

In medieval times, when maps were bedecked with strange and exotic unknowns, where the corners might be inscribed ‘Here be monsters’, the most distant place that could be conceived, lying beyond the borders of the known world, was labelled Ultima Thule. Thule, officially pronounced Thooli, and sometimes Tooli, though it looks as if it should be Thool, which frankly sounds much more suitably dark and mysterious. Originally this was the classical name for a mysterious land, six day’s sail to the north of Britain, thought by the Greek historian Polybius to be the most northerly part of the world. ‘Ultima Thule’ took things one stage further – it was the farthest part of Thule.

This is the opening of my latest addition to the Royal Society of Chemistry's series of podcasts Chemistry in its Element. It's live and it's all about thulium, element 69.

 Take a listen, or select it in from the list of my element podcasts below: 

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