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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Ruthenium \Ru*the"ni*um\, n. [NL. So named from the Ruthenians, a Little Russian people, as coming from Russia, the metal having been found in the Ural mountains.] (Chem.) A rare element of the light platinum group, found associated with platinum ores, and isolated as a hard, brittle steel-gray metal which is very infusible. Symbol Ru. Atomic weight 103.5. Specific gravity 12.26. See Platinum metals, under Platinum.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

metallic element, 1845, named by Russian chemist Karl Klauss, from a name proposed earlier (1828) in reference to a metal extracted from ores from the Ural Mountains of Russia (see Ruthenian).


n. 1 A metallic chemical element (''symbol'' Ru) with an atomic number of 44. 2 (cx countable English) An atom of this element.


n. a rare polyvalent metallic element of the platinum group; it is found associated with platinum [syn: Ru, atomic number 44]


Ruthenium is a chemical element with symbol Ru and atomic number 44. It is a rare transition metal belonging to the platinum group of the periodic table. Like the other metals of the platinum group, ruthenium is inert to most other chemicals. The Baltic German scientist Karl Ernst Claus discovered the element in 1844 and named it after his homeland, the Russian Empire (one of Russia's Latin names is Ruthenia). Ruthenium is usually found as a minor component of platinum ores; the annual production is about 20 tonnes. Most ruthenium produced is used in wear-resistant electrical contacts and thick-film resistors. A minor application for ruthenium is in platinum alloys and as a chemistry catalyst.

Usage examples of "ruthenium".

Squibb has reported success with monatomic ruthenium to correct cancer cells.

The reaction is very efficient, ninety-nine percent in fact, and is exothermic, which means it requires no input of heat to make it work, just the presence of a ruthenium catalyst.

It is keyed to the second triad of the periodic table, rhodium and ruthenium and palladium, in very much the same way that ferromagnetism is keyed to the first triad, iron and nickel and cobalt.