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cerium(sēr`ēəm) [from the asteroid Ceres], metallic chemical element; symbol Ce; at. no. 58; at. wt. 140.116; m.p. 799°C;; b.p. 3,426°C;; sp. gr. 6.77 at 25°C;; valence +3 or +4. Cerium is a soft, malleable, ductile, iron-grey metal with hexagonal or cubic crystalline structure. It is slightly harder than lead. It is the most abundant of the rare-earth metalsrare-earth metals,
in chemistry, group of metals including those of the lanthanide series and actinide series and usually yttrium, sometimes scandium and thorium, and rarely zirconium. Promethium, which is not found in nature, is not usually considered a rare-earth metal.
..... Click the link for more information. of Group 3 of the periodic tableperiodic table,
chart of the elements arranged according to the periodic law discovered by Dmitri I. Mendeleev and revised by Henry G. J. Moseley. In the periodic table the elements are arranged in columns and rows according to increasing atomic number (see the table entitled
..... Click the link for more information. . It does not tarnish rapidly in dry air but quickly loses its luster in moist air. It oxidizes slowly in cold water and rapidly in hot water. It is attacked by solutions of alkalis and by concentrated or dilute acids. When heated it burns with a brilliant flame to form the oxide (ceria) that exhibits incandescence and is used in making lamp mantles (see Welsbach mantleWelsbach mantle
or Welsbach burner
[for C. A. von Welsbach], cylindrical framework of gauze impregnated with oxides of thorium and cerium. When heated in a gas flame, it produces a very bright light because of the incandescence of the oxides.
..... Click the link for more information. ). The metal is used as a core for the carbon electrodes of arc lamps. The element forms alloys with other metals. An alloy of cerium and iron is used as the flint in cigarette and gas lighters. Minute particles of this alloy ignite in the air when scratched from the surface of the larger mass. Cerium is prepared by electrolysis of the chloride or by reduction of the fused fluoride with calcium. Cerium was recognized in 1803 in the oxide (ceria) as a new metal by M. H. Klaproth and by J. J. Berzelius and Wilhelm Hisinger; it was named for the asteroid Ceres, which had been discovered only two years earlier. The metal was obtained in a very impure state by C. G. Mosander and by Friedrich Wöhler some thirty years later; the nearly pure metal was not obtained until 1875 by W. F. Hillebrand and T. H. Norton.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
Ce, a chemical element. Atomic number, 58; atomic weight, 140.12. A rare-earth element, cerium is one of the lanthanides.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
A chemical element, symbol Ce, atomic number 58, atomic weight 140.12; a rare-earth metal, used as a getter in the metal industry, as an opacifier and polisher in the glass industry, in Welsbach gas mantles, in cored carbon arcs, and as a liquid-liquid extraction agent to remove fission products from spent uranium fuel.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
a malleable ductile steel-grey element of the lanthanide series of metals, used in lighter flints and as a reducing agent in metallurgy. Symbol: Ce; atomic no.: 58; atomic wt.: 140.115; valency: 3 or 4; relative density: 6.770; melting pt.: 798°C; boiling pt.: 3443°C
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005