Basque Fact of the Week: Basque Brothers Discover Tungsten

Fausto (1755-1833) and Juan José (1754-1796) Elhuyar discovered the element tungsten (atomic number 74) in 1783 in the town of Bergara, Spain.

  • Fausto founded and was the first director of the Palace of Mines in Mexico City.
  • Tungsten is a key component of ITER, the international effort to create a fusion reactor that creates more energy than it uses.
  • The Elhuyar Foundation, named for the brothers, works to bring science and the Basque language together.

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