Chemical Element: scandium

(Modern Latin: named for Scandinavia; metal)

Chemical-element Information

Symbol: Sc
Atomic number: 21
Year discovered: 1879

Discovered by: Lars Fredrik Nilson (1840-1899), a Swedish chemist.

  • Scandium was discovered by Nilson, in 1879, in the minerals “euxenite” and “gadolinite”, which had not yet been found anywhere except in Scandinavia.
  • He and his coworkers were actually looking for rare earth metals.
  • By processing 10 kg of euxenite and other residues of rare-earth minerals, Nilson was able to prepare about 2 g of scandium oxide of high purity.
  • In 1871, Mendeléyev predicted that an element should exist that would resemble boron in its properties.
  • He therefore called it eka-boron, (symbol Eb).
  • Cleve found scandium oxide at about the same time.
  • He noted that the new element was the element eka-boron as predicted by Mendeléyev, in 1871; a second of his predicted elements had thus been discovered.

Name in other languages:

French: scandium

German: Scandium

Italian: scandio

Spanish: escandio

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.