Palladium is a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal that was discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston, who named it palladium after the asteroid Pallas, which in turn, was named after the epithet of the goddess Athena, acquired by her when she slew the giant Pallas. The symbol for palladium is Pd, and its atomic number is 46. Palladium, along with platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium form a group of elements referred to as the platinum group metals (PGMs). PGMs share similar chemical properties, but palladium is unique in that it has the lowest melting point and is the least dense of these precious metals. Incredibly, when palladium is at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, it can absorb up to 900 times its own volume of hydrogen, which makes palladium an efficient and safe storage medium for hydrogen and hydrogen isotopes. Palladium is also tarnish resistant, electrically stable and resistant to chemical erosion as well as intense heat.
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