Lanthanum

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Lanthanum
Name Lanthanum
Symbol La
Atomic number 57
Atomic mass 138.9055 amu
Normal state Solid
Classification Rare Earth Metals
Crystal structure Hexagonal
Density 6.145 g/cm^3
Color Silvery-white
Number of Stable Isotopes 2
Date of discovery 1839
Name of discoverer Carl Mosander
Name origin From the Greek lanthanein, meaning to lie hidden.
Uses Due to the refractive properties it adds to glass, it is used in expensive camera lenses. Also used in lighter flints, battery electrodes, catalytic converters, and as a biological tracer.
Obtained from Found along with monazite and bastnasite.


Lanthanum is an element in the "rare earths" class of the periodic table. Specifically, it is the first in the "Lanthanide" series. It is easily oxidized in air, and reacts with water. It has two stable isotopes (actually one, but another one has a half-life of 1011 years).

Lanthanum was discovered while searching for impurities in Cerium.

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