Chemical Element: praseodymium

(Greek: prasios, "green", plus didymos, "twin" [with the element neodymium] because of a green line in its spectrum; rare earth)

Chemical-Element Information

Symbol: Pr
Atomic number: 59
Year discovered: 1885

Discovered by: Carl Auer, Freiherr von Welsbach (1858-1929), an Austrian chemist.

  • In 1885, Carl Auer von Welsbach separated an “earth” called didymia, obtained from the mineral samarskite, into two earths, praseodymia and neodymia; which resulted in salts of different colors.
  • It is oxidized slowly by air at room temperature and reacts rapidly with hot water, liberating hydrogen.
  • A mixture of praseodymium and neodymium is used as coloring in the goggles worn by glassblowers and welders.
  • The name of this element is a shortened variant of praeseodidymium (“green didymium”, because of the green color of the salts).

Name in other languages:

French: praséodyme

German: Praseodym

Italian: praseodimio

Spanish: praseodimio

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.