Concept

Rare-earth element

Summary
The rare-earth elements (REE), also called the rare-earth metals or rare earths or, in context, rare-earth oxides, and sometimes the lanthanides (although yttrium and scandium, which do not belong to this series, are usually included as rare earths), are a set of 17 nearly indistinguishable lustrous silvery-white soft heavy metals. Compounds containing rare earths have diverse applications in electrical and electronic components, lasers, glass, magnetic materials, and industrial processes. Scandium and yttrium are considered rare-earth elements because they tend to occur in the same ore deposits as the lanthanides and exhibit similar chemical properties, but have different electronic and magnetic properties. The term 'rare-earth' is a misnomer because they are not actually scarce, although historically it took a long time to isolate these elements. These metals tarnish slowly in air at room temperature and react slowly with cold water to form hydroxides, lib
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