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Thulium, holmium, and samarium.

If scandium was not quite a rare earth element, other elements were discovered that were. Cleve, who identified scandium as ekaboron (see above), isolated two new rare earth elements in 1879. He gave both of them names of Scandinavian aura. One was thulium, after Thule, which in classic legend was the land farthest to the north, and which was interpreted by later Europeans as representing Scandinavia. The other he named holmium, after Stockholm.

In the same year, Lecoq de Boisbaudran, who had discovered gallium (see 1874), identified a new rare earth element, which he named samarium, because he had found it in a mineral called samarskite, which, in turn, bore the name of an otherwise obscure Russian mining engineer named Samarski.

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Author:Asimov, Isaac
Publication:Asimov's Chronology of Science & Discovery, Updated ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1994
Words:121
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