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Chemistry LibreTexts

Chemistry of Europium

Europium looks and feels a lot like lead, although it is not as dense. It was discovered in 1896 and isolated in 1901 by Demarcay, working with samples of supposedly "pure" samarium. Named for the continent of Europe, the element ranks thirteenth in abundance among the rare earth metals, but there is more of it than silver and gold combined.

It is the most reactive of the rare earth metals, behaving with water in a manner similar to calcium.

Generally refined from monazite sand, the pure metal has few applications, but you would find it less interesting to read this without some of its compounds which are used as activators and red phosphors in color CRT screens for television and computers.


Stephen R. Marsden (ChemTopics)