Neodymium: historical information

Neodymium was discovered by Carl F. Auer von Welsbach at 1885 in Austria. 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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neodymium atomic number