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Neodymium (Nd): Lanthanides

Neodymium (Nd)

What is Neodymium?

Neodymium is a lustrous silvery-yellow metal. It is very reactive and quickly tarnishes in air and the coated formed does not protect the metal from further oxidation, so it must be stored away from contact with air. It reacts slowly with cold water and rapidly with hot.  Neodymium is the second most abundant of the rare-earth elements (after cerium) an is almost as abundant as copper. It is found in minerals that include all lanthanide minerals, such as monazite and bastnasite. The main areas are Brazil, China, USA, India, Sri Lanka and Australia. Reserves of neodymium are estimated to be 8 million tons, world production of neodymium oxide is about 7.000 tons a year. Continue reading from Lenntech

The History

Neodymium was discovered in Vienna in 1885 by Karl Auer. Its story began with the discovery of cerium, from which Carl Gustav Mosander extracted didymium in 1839. This turned out to be a mixture of lanthanoid elements, and in 1879, samarium was extracted from didymium, followed a year later by gadolinium. In 1885, Auer obtained neodymium and praseodymium from didymium, their existence revealed by atomic spectroscopy. Didymium had been studied by Bohuslav Brauner at Prague in 1882 and was shown to vary according to the mineral from which it came. At the time he made his discovery, Auer was a research student of the great German chemist, Robert Bunsen who was the world expert on didymium, but he accepted Auer's discovery immediately, whereas other chemists were to remain skeptical for several years.  A sample of the pure metal was first produced in 1925.  Continue reading from Royal Society of Chemistry

Neodymium Facts

Neodymium is one of the more reactive lanthanide rare-earth metals and quickly oxidizes in air. The element should be kept under an oil or sealed tightly in a plastic material. The metal has a bright and silvery luster.  Neodymium can be found in two allotropic forms, transforming from a double hexagonal to a body-centered cubic. Naturally-occurring neodymium has seven stable isotopes. Fourteen other radioactive isotopes are known.  Neodymium colors glass several shades, ranging from pure violet through deep red and warm gray tones. This glass is used in astronomical work to produce sharp absorption bands to calibrate spectral lines. Continue reading from Live Science

Chart of Elemental Properties for Neodymium

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