Cerium

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Cerium (play /ˈsɪəriəm/) is a chemical element with the symbol Ce and atomic number 58. It is a soft, silvery, ductile metal which easily oxidizes in air. Cerium was named after the dwarf planet Ceres (itself named for the Roman goddess of agriculture). Cerium is the most abundant of the rare earth elements, making up about 0.0046% of the Earth's crust by weight. It is found in a number of minerals, the most important being monazite and bastnasite. Commercial applications of cerium are numerous. They include catalysts, additives to fuel to reduce emissions and to glass and enamels to change their color. Cerium oxide is an important component of glass polishing powders and phosphors used in screens and fluorescent lamps.

Contents

Characteristics

Physical properties

Cerium is a silvery metal, belonging to the lanthanide group. It resembles iron in color and luster, but is soft, and both malleable and ductile. Cerium has the second-longest liquid range of any element: 2648 C° (795 °C to 3443 °C) or 4766 F° (1463 °F to 6229 °F). (Thorium has the longest liquid range.)

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