Skip to Main Content

Praseodymium (Pr): Lanthanides

Praseodymium (Pr)

What is Praseodymium?

Praseodymium lies in Row 6 of the periodic table.  The elements that make up Row 6 are sometimes called the rare earth metals. But the term is not very accurate. The rare earth elements are not especially rare in the Earth's crust.  They were given this name because they have very similar properties. This similarity makes them difficult to separate from each other. A better name for the rare earth elements is the lanthanides. Praseodymium is a typical metal, somewhat similar to aluminum, iron, or magnesium. It is quite expensive to prepare and does not have many practical uses.   Continue reading from Chemistry Explained

The History

Didymium was announced in 1841 by Carl Mosander. He separated if from cerium, along with lanthanum. Didymium was accepted as an element for more than 40 years but it was really a mixture of lanthanoid elements. Some chemists wondered whether didymium too might consist of more than one element, and their suspicions were confirmed when Bohuslav Brauner of Prague in 1882 showed that its atomic spectrum was not that of a pure metal. The Austrian chemist, Carl Auer von Welsbach took up the challenge and in June 1885 he succeeded in splitting didymium into its two components, neodymium and praseodymium, which he obtained as their oxides.  A pure sample of praseodymium metal itself was first produced in 1931. Continue reading from Royal Society of Chemistry

 Praseodymium Facts

Praseodymium is a silvery rare-earth metal that is soft, malleable and ductile. It is one of the lanthanides.  Praseodymium is commonly used as an alloying agent with magnesium to create high-strength metals used in aircraft engines. It’s also a component of mischmetal, a material that is used to make flints for lighters, and in carbon arc lights, used in the motion picture industry for studio lighting and projector lights. The element is often added to fiber optic cables as a doping agent to help amplify a signal. Continue reading from Live Science

Chart of Elemental Properties for Praseodymium

Watch a Video on Praseodymium

Check out our Science Database or a Science Book from our Collection

Link to Science Reference Center Database
Link to Elemental by Tim James in the Catalog
Link to The Periodic Table: A Very Short Introduction by Eric Scerri in the Catalog
Link to Eureka by Chad Orzel in the Catalog
Link to Periodic Tales by Hugh Aldersey Williams in Hoopla
Link to Superheavy by Kit Chapman in the Catalog
Link to Absolutely Small by Michael D. Fayer in the Catalog
Link to Seven Elements That Changed The World by John Browne in the Catalog
Link to The Elements by Theodore W. Gray in the Catalog
Link to 10 Women Who Changed Science, And The World by Catherine Whitlock in the Catalog
Link to From Arsenic to Zirconium by Peter Davern in the Catalog
Link to Chemistry Demystified by Linda Williams in the Catalog
Link to The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean in the Catalog

Return to the Periodic Table of Elements Resource Guide Series