Thallium was discovered in 1861 by the English chemist William Crookes, who, while examining residues from a sulfuric acid plant, noticed a green line in the emission spectrum never seen before. The studied material contained an unknown element. The green line resembled the colour of spring vegetation and so he named the new element “thallium” from the Greek “thallos” for a young twig. Metallic thallium was first prepared by the French scientist C. Lamy in 1862 .
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