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Why did it take scientists 80 years to discover francium?

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Francium is extremely rare, and naturally unstable, as it is highly radioactive and the most stable isotope has a half-life of 21 minutes. This means that if a francium atom is formed it will almost certainly disappear very, very quickly. At any one time there is only about 25g of naturally occurring francium in the whole of Earth. Its extreme rarity means it is very difficult to find.

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