7 July 1886 - Birth of Carlo Perrier, co-discoverer of technetium

The chemist and mineralogist Carlo Perrier was born in Turin on 7 July 1886.

He studied chemistry at the Politecnico di Torino and obtained his degree in 1908, later earning his doctorate at the University of Turin.

After working for a year at the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry at the ETH Zurich with Baur and Treadwell, he became assistant to Arnaldo Puitti at the University of Naples. There he befriended Ferruccio Zambonini and became increasingly involved in mineralogy and the study of radioactivity.

He later became Zambonini's assistant in Turin, and in 1921 he became director of the State Laboratory of Geochemistry in Rome after a competition. In 1927, after another competition, he became an associate professor in Messina. Two years later he moved to Palermo.

In 1937, at the University of Palermo, Carlo Perrier and Emilio Gino Segrè discovered technetium, thus filling the last long-sought gap in the periodic table. It was the first artificially produced element, hence its name. Technetium was found in a sample of molybdenum that had been bombarded with deuterons at the Berkeley cyclotron.

From 1939 he was a professor of mineralogy at the University of Genoa and was head of the Institute of Mineralogy until his death.

The mineral perrierite, a black to dark brown monoclinic group silicate with cerium, iron, and titanium, was named in his honor.

Perrier died in Genoa on 22 May 1948.

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