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Lanthanide facts for kids

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Atomic No. Name Symbol Picture
57 Lanthanum La Lanthanum-2.jpg
58 Cerium Ce Cerium2.jpg
59 Praseodymium Pr Praseodymium.jpg
60 Neodymium Nd Neodymium2.jpg
61 Promethium Pm
62 Samarium Sm Samarium-2.jpg
63 Europium Eu Europium.jpg
64 Gadolinium Gd Gadolinium-3.jpg
65 Terbium Tb Terbium-2.jpg
66 Dysprosium Dy Dy chips.jpg
67 Holmium Ho Holmium2.jpg
68 Erbium Er Erbium-crop.jpg
69 Thulium Tm Thulium sublimed dendritic and 1cm3 cube.jpg
70 Ytterbium Yb Ytterbium-3.jpg
71 Lutetium Lu Lutetium sublimed dendritic and 1cm3 cube.jpg

A lanthanide is one of a group of 15 elements that have atomic numbers 57 to 71. This is also known as the lanthanide series or lanthanoid series. This group starts at lanthanum and it ends at lutetium. All lanthanoids are f-block elements, meaning that electrons fill the 4f electron shell, except for lutetium which is a d-block lanthanoid. The lanthanoid series (Ln) is named after lanthanum.

Lanthanides are metals that are related to each other in how they behave. Most of them slowly turn into their hydroxides when they are placed into water, like the alkali metals. They usually form a coating of oxide when placed in the air, like most metals. Lanthanides, with Scandium and Yttrium, are called rare earth elements. All the lanthanoids are silvery white soft metals and tarnish rapidly in air. The hardness increases with increasing atomic number.

Lanthanides are not abundant, and only small amounts are mined. Some have various uses in magnets, superconductors, chemical catalysts, and optical equipment such as lasers.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Lantánidos para niños

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