The Rare Earth Elements – Trifonov

In this post, we will see the book The Rare Earth Elements by D. N. Trifonov.

About the book

Certain elements and their compounds, previously considered rare and of no practical interest, are being introduced on a large scale in industry to meet the growing demands of the modern world.

The family of rare-earth elements (lanthanides), which in­cludes approximately one-fifth of all the metals occurring on the earth, is of very great interest for several reasons. The peculiar physical and chemical properties of the lanthanides and their compounds, and their relatively high abundance on the earth’s crust, have engaged the attention not only of individuals taking an interest in science but also of entire scientific bodies. Un­fortunately, however, the scale on which these elements are used in Soviet industry is far from adequate. This is so, although the Soviet Union possesses very rich deposits of rare-earth ores and all that is necessary for their extensive application in industry and, in particular, in metallurgy.

The author, a research worker at the Institute of the History of Science and Technology of the Academy of Sciences, U.S.S.R. has given an account, which is both lively and easily intelligible, of the long and extremely involved history of the discovery of these elements, their properties, the methods for their separation, the present state of the problem and some prospects of future developments in this branch of chemistry.

Although the book is primarily intended for laymen, special­ists also are likely to find some interesting facts in it. It is to be hoped that the engaging story told here will not only succeed in creating an interest for this field among people with little knowledge of it but also help those concerned with bordering domains of science and technology to form a clearer concep­tion of the immense potentialities inherent in the extensive use of these elements, which possess such unique properties.

The book was translated from Russian by Prasenjit Basu and was edited by R. C. Vickery, published in 1963

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English Editor’s Foreword vii
Russian Editor’s Foreword viii
Author’s Preface ix
Introduction xiii

Chapter I. History of the discovery of rare-earth elements 1

1. A mineral from Ytterby 2
2. Modern times——new “earths” 4
3. The “submerged rock” of the periodic system 7
4. The elusive Element 61 16
5. The role of Russian scientists in the study of the rare-earth elements 24

Chapter II. Why is the family of rare-earth elements peculiar? 25

1. The periodic system and the structure of electronic shells 25
2. The properties of the rare-earth elements in the light of their electronic structure 35
3. A brief account of the geochemistry of the rare-earth elements 43

Chapter III. The properties of the rare-earth elements and methods for their separation

1. The physical and chemical properties of the rare-earth elements 52
2. From the mineral to the pure metals 52

Chapter IV. Practical applications of the rare-earth elements 73

Chapter V. The present state of the problem of the rare-earth elements 93

1. Once more on the position of the rare-earth elements in the periodic system 93
2. Lanthanides and actinides 96
3. Nuclear chemistry of the rare-earth elements 10]
4. Another periodic system 107
5. Does prometheum exist in nature ? 109
6. The origin of the elements 111

Conclusion 115
Notes 119
Suggested Further Reading 125
Index 127

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