In 1781, Carl Wilhelm Scheele (1742–1786) produced tungstic acid and predicted that a new metal could be produced from it. He didn’t however, isolate it and was pipped to the post by the Spaniards José and Fausto Elhuyar. This happens all the time in science and wouldn’t be worth noting, if it weren’t for the fact that Scheele was also the first to identify oxygen, molybdenum, barium and chlorine – and was overlooked for all of his discoveries! To add to his misery, his many experiments with dangerous chemicals sent him to an early grave aged just 44.
Melting point: 3,414 °C (6,177.2 °F)
Boiling point: 5,555 °C (10,031 °F)
Density: 19,254 kg/m3
Relative atomic mass: 183.84
State at room temperature: solid
Ores: wolframite, scheelite
Biggest tungsten (wolframite) producers: China; because it is also produced in Democratic Republic of Congo, wolframite is classed as a conflict mineral