Science: Jobs for Elements

Modern physics is beginning to find jobs for unemployed elements; even the rarest and most intractable of them may soon be put to useful work. In the current Nucleonics, British Physicist R. West tells how he has found a job for thulium, an element so rare that its oxide costs $9,000 an ounce. Physicist West formed thulium into tiny pellets which he made radioactive by cooking in a nuclear reactor. Then he was able to take delicate pictures with thulium's gentle X rays.

Two other unemployed elements, europium and xenon, may also be used in the same way for special X-ray photography....

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