Gadolinium

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Gadolinium

This is gadolinium.

Symbol Gd
Atomic number 64
Atomic mass 151.96 amu

Gadolinium was discovered in 1880, named after the mineral gadolinite, and a Finnish chemist.

Distinguishing properties

Gadolinium is in the middle of the lanthanide series. Gadolinium divides the lighter metals, which adds pliant qualities to alloys, from the heavier metals, used mostly as strengthening agents.

Usage

One other use of gadolinium is the use of the manmade radioactive isotope, gadolinium-153, as a special radiation measuring technique to detect the loss of calcium in the hip and back bones. But there hasn't been enough of this isotope available for wide use. Now, using America's breeder reactor, additional quantities of gadolinium-153 are being created. With its wider availability, osteoporosis can be diagnosed early enough to prevent future crippling.

See also

Periodic table of the elements