Atomic number: 58
Year discovered: 1803
Discovered by: Baron Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1779-1848), a Swedish chemist, and Wilhelm Hisinger (1766-1852), a Swedish mineralogist, working together; and independently by Martin Heinrich Klaproth (1743-1817), a German chemist.
- Contracted from cereium, a name coined by the Swedish chemist Baron Jöns Jakob Berzelius who, at first, thought this element should be Atomic Number 72.
- Cerium is malleable and ductile and is used in porcelain, glass, and alloys.
- It reacts rapidly with boiling water, liberating hydrogen; and in wire form, it burns brilliantly when heated.
- Cerium and its compounds have a number of practical applications.
- Tetravalent (ceric) salts, that are powerful but stable oxidizing agents, are used in analytical chemistry to determine oxidizable substances such as ferrous iron.
- The dioxide is employed in the optics industry for fine polishing of glass and as an opacifier in porcelain coatings.
- Cerium nitrate is used in the manufacture of Welsbach incandescent gas mantles; while other salts are used in the ceramic, photographic, and textile industries.
Name in other languages:
Information about other elements may be seen at this Chemical Elements List.
A special unit about words that include chemo-, chem- may be seen here.