Francium is one of the alkali metals found in Group 1 of the periodic table. Because it is so rare, its chemical and physical properties are not known, but it is believed to resemble cesium. The element was discovered in 1939 by Marguerite Perey at the Curie Institute in Paris as a product of the radioactive disintegration of actinium. In the United States it was at one time called virginium.
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