Thorium is named after the norse god of thunder, Thor. Thorium was first thought to have been discovered in 1815 by Jöns Jakob Berzelius however in 1824 it was proven to be Yttrium. It was not until 1828 when Berzelius was analysing a Norwegian mineral that he discovered the unknown element Thorium. As a liquid Thorium has a wider temperature range between its boiling and melting points than any other element. It is about as abundant as lead in the earth’s crust but does not exist in its natural state. It is been used since 1885 in the creation of gas mantles and gas lamps and is also used to strengthen wires as an alloy. Thorium is seen as a potential alternative to uranium in nuclear reactors as it is more easily extracted and it is more abundant in the earths crust. It is a solid metal at room temperature and it has a melting point of 1750°c and a boiling point of 4790°c.
Used in making strong alloys. Also in ultraviolet photoelectric cells. It is a common ingredient in high-quality lenses. Bombarded with neutrons make uranium-233, a nuclear fuel.
Found in various minerals like monazite and thorite.