Lutetium, element 71, was independently discovered by three different researchers in 1907: French chemist Georges Urbain, Austrian scientist Carl Auer von Welsbach, and American chemist Charles James. Urbain was granted priority in the question over who discovered it first, and his name, lutetium, was selected as the official one. Although von Welsbach’s name, cassiopeium, after the constellation Cassiopeia, is found in some of the older chemical literature.1
The element’s name comes from the Latin name for the city that was on the site of what is now Paris, Lutecia.2
Lutetium has the chemical symbol Lu.
Copyright 1997-2013, by David Wilton