Be -Ru- is a chemical element with atomic number 44. Ruthenium is a rare transition metal belonging to the platinum group of the periodic table. Similar to the other metals of the platinum group, ruthenium is inert to most chemicals. The Russian scientist Karl Ernst Claus discovered the element in 1844 and named it after Ruthenia. Ruthenium usually occurs as a minor component of platinum ores and its annual production is only about 12 tons worldwide. Most ruthenium is used for wear-resistant electrical contacts and the production of thick-film resistors. A minor application of ruthenium is its use in some platinum alloys.