Neodymium: historical information

  • Discoveror: Carl F. Auer von Welsbach
  • Place of discovery: Austria
  • Date of discovery: 1885
  • Origin of name : from the Greek words "neos didymos" meaning "new twin".

In 1885 von Welsbach separated didymium, an extract of cerite, into two new elemental components, neodymia and praseodymia, by repeated fractionation of ammonium didymium nitrate. While the free metal is a component of misch metal, (a pyrophoric alloy for lighter flints), the element was not isolated in relatively pure form until 1925.

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