57. Lanthanum - Elementymology & Elements Multidict

Elementymology & Elements Multidict

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Lanthaan – Lanthan – Lanthane – Lantano – ランタン – Лантан – 鑭
Multilingual dictionary

Lanthanum Latin

— Germanic
Lantaan Afrikaans
Lanthan Danish
Lanthan German
Lanthanum English
Lanthan Faroese
Lanthaan Frisian (West)
Lantan, ²Lanþan Icelandic
Lanthan Luxembourgish
Lanthaan Dutch
Lantan Norwegian
Lantan Swedish

— Italic
Lantán Aragonese
Lantan Aromanian
Lantanu Asturian
Lantani Catalan
Lantano Spanish
Lanthane French
Lantani Friulian
Lantano Galician
Lantanio Italian
Lantàni Lombard
Lantan Occitan
Lantâno Portuguese
Lantan Romanian - Moldovan

— Slavic
Лантан [Lantan] Bulgarian
Lanthanum, ²Lantan Bosnian
Лантан [lantan] Belarusian
Lanthan Czech
Lantan Croatian
Lantón Kashubian
Лантан [Lantan] Macedonian
Lantan Polish
Лантан [Lantan] Russian
Lantán Slovak
Lantan Slovenian
Лантан [Lantan] Serbian
Лантан [lantan] Ukrainian

— Baltic
Lantanas Lithuanian
Lantāns Latvian
Lantans Samogitian

— Celtic
Lantan Breton
Lanthanwm Welsh
Lantainam Gaelic (Irish)
Lantanam Gaelic (Scottish)
Lantanum Gaelic (Manx)
Lanthanum Cornish

— Other Indo-European
Λανθανιο [lanthanio] Greek
Լանթան [lant'an] Armenian
Lantan, ²Lanthani Albanian

— Indo-Iranian/Iranian
Lantan Kurdish
Лантан [lantan] Ossetian
Лантан [Lantan] Tajik

— Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryan
ল্যান্থানাম [lyānthānāma] Bengali
لانتانوم [lantanwm] Persian
લૅન્થેનમનો [lenthennamano] Gujarati
लाञ्थनम [lāñthanama] Hindi

Lantaan Estonian
Lantaani Finnish
Lantán Hungarian
Лантан [Lantan] Komi
Лантан [Lantan] Mari
Лантан [lantan] Moksha
Lantaan Võro

Lantan Azerbaijani
Лантан [Lantan] Chuvash
Лантан [lantan] Kazakh
Лантан [Lantan] Kyrgyz
Лантан [lantan] Mongolian
Lantan Turkish
لانتان [lantan] Uyghur
Lantan Uzbek

Other (Europe)
Lantanoa Basque
ლანთანი [lant'ani] Georgian

لنثانوم [lanthānūm] Arabic
לנתן [lanthan] Hebrew
Lantanum, ²Lantanju Maltese

Làn (碲) Hakka
ランタン [rantan] Japanese
란탄, 2란타넘 [lantan, lantaneom] Korean
แลนทานัม [laenthānam] Thai
Lantan Vietnamese
[lan4 / laan4] Chinese

Lantano Cebuano
Lantanium Indonesian
Lanthanum Māori
Lanthanum Malay

Other Asiatic
ലാന്തനം [lāntan] Malayalam
லந்தானம் [lantāṉam] Tamil

Lantani Lingala
Lantanamo Sesotho
Lanthani Swahili

Lantano Nahuatl

Lanthanu Quechua

Lantanimi Sranan Tongo

Lantano Esperanto

New names
Lantion Atomic Elements
Ceria Dorseyville
memory peg

Shiny gray metal which forms a bluish oxide
melting point 921 °C; 1690 °F
boiling point 3457 °C; 6255 °F
density 6.14 g/cc; 383.63 pounds/cubic foot
1839 Carl G. Mosander, Sweden
λανθανω (lanthanō) = to lie hidden (Greek)

History & Etymology

Lanthanum was discovered in 1839 by Carl Gustav Mosander (1797-1858), since 1832 professor of chemistry and mineralogy at the Caroline Institute in Stockholm, as successor of Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1779-1848).

In 1825, Berzelius has asked Mosander to prepare Cerium sulphide and it was during the course of this work that Mosander became convinced that this oxide contained another earth (oxide) (Cf. Cerium). Ten years later he took up the separations again, and the existence of a new element became established in November 1838. A few months later the discovery was made more widely known by Berzelius through his letters and a detailed account in the Annual Report (Årsberättelse).

Since the new oxide was extracted as an impurity from cerium nitrate, Berzelius suggested the name lanthana, from the Greek λανθανω [lanthanō] = to lie hidden.

On 12 February 1839 Berzelius wrote Friedrich Wöhler:

"Mosander seems willing to take my suggestion to name it [the new element] Lanthanum and the oxide (the new soluble salt) lanthanum oxide or lanthana. Lanthano (Greek) means to hide or to escape notice. Lanthana lay hidden in the mineral cerite for 36 years after ceria (containing element Cerium) was discovered in the mineral cerite in 1803."

Berzelius erroneously used a τ (t) instead of a θ (th) in the Greek verb, hence Lantan instead of Lanthan.

Mosander withheld publication frustrating Berzelius and Wöhler, while continuing his efforts at purification. Finally, he announced the results of his research in a paper held in July 1842 in Stockholm. An English translation was published in the Philosophical Magazine, and after this a German version in Poggendorf's Annalen: "Ueber die das Cerium begleitenden neuen Metalle Lanthanium und Didymium, so wie über die mit der Yttererde vorkommenden neuen Metalle Erbium und Terbium" (On the new metals Lanthanum and Didymium, accompanying Cerium, and on the metals Erbium and Terbium occurring with yttria) (note). Later, continuing analysis of Lanthana showed that it contained four new elements, see further Didymium (at Praseodymium).

For more than one century any important applications for this element were not found. The interest for lanthanum was just scientific, being limited to the investigators improving its separation techniques and purification and knowing its spectrum.

See also: Chronological list of discovery of the rare earths and their names

Chemistianity 1873
LANTHANUM, a graphite-like metal,
Is a dark lead-grey powder, soft to the touch,
And which, when hard press'd, adheres in compact mass.
Its Oxide turns red litmus paper blue.
J. Carrington Sellars, Chemistianity, 1873, p. 131-132
Further reading
  • Mary Elvira Weeks, Discovery of the Elements, comp. rev. by Henry M. Leicester (Easton, Pa.: Journal of Chemical Education, 1968), pp. 667-699.
  • Seltene Erden. Gmelins Handbuch der anorganische Chemie, 8. Aufl.; System-Nummer 39 (1938).
  • Lauri Niinistö, "Discovery and Separation of Rare Earths". In Rare Earths, ed. Regino Sáez Puche & Paul A. Caro, 25-42. Madrid: Editorial Complutense, 1997.
  • Lauri Niinistö, Swedish Contributions to the Discovery of Elements: Part 3: The Work of Mosander, Cleve and Nilson. ERES Newsletter, vol. 12, no. 1 (30 June 2001). (on-line).

Sources Index of Persons Index of Alleged Elements