- neodymiumSymbol: NdAtomic number: 60Atomic weight: 144.24Soft bright silvery metallic element, belongs to the lanthanoids. Seven natural isotopes, Nd-144 being the only radioactive one with a half-life of 10^10 to 10^15 years. Six artificial radioisotopes have been produced. The metal is used in glass works to color class a shade of violet-purple and make it dichroic. One of the more reactive rare-earth metals, quickly reacts with air. Used in some rare-earth alloys. Neodymium is used to color the glass used in welder's glasses. Neodymium is also used in very powerful, permanent magnets (Nd2Fe14B). Discovered by Carl F. Auer von Welsbach in Austria in 1885 by separating didymium into its elemental components praseodymium and neodymium. The name comes from the Greek words "neos didymos" which means "new twin". Neodymium should be considered highly toxic, however evidence would seem to show that it acts as little more than a skin and eye irritant. The dust however, presents a fire and explosion hazard.
Elements of periodic system. 2013.