praseodymium, neodymium (and didymium)

Praseodymium, element 59, and neodymium, element 60, have similar etymologies and their discovery, as well as their existence in nature, are bound up with one another. In 1841, Swedish chemist Carl Gustaf Mosander discovered a substance that he believed was an element. He dubbed it didymium, after the Greek δίδυμος (didymos), or twin, because the substance was found with cerium and lanthanium. Mosander was wrong about it being an element, but the name was apt, as didymium turned out to be a combination of the metals which would be known as praseodymium and neodymium. From an 1842 issue of the Chemical Gazette:

Read the rest of the article...
Powered by ExpressionEngine
Copyright 1997-2020, by David Wilton