Understanding the Rare Earths

For our first post, we are presenting 5 of the rare earths in order for you to fully understand it and know its uses:


This element is considered to be the very first member of the heavy group rare earth elements. This particular element was named by Redford and Newman. Terbium is used for lasers as it expands and contracts in a magnetic field. It is also used for flat panel displays, trichromatic fluorescent bulbs and tubes and X-ray intensifying screens. This element is also being used in the coating of CDs and DVDs.


This element is the very first member of the rare earth group of elements, having been the first one to be discovered. Scandium is used for high density discharge lamps that are put in sports stadiums and arenas. It is also used in Russian MiG fighter jets to enable the lighter and more maneuverable crafts. There is also a Smith and Wesson revolver that make use of Scandium-aluminum in order to create a lightweight and high-strength firearm.


This particular element was found to be hidden inside a cerium compound. It is being used for high end camera lenses, telescopes, riflescopes and binoculars to improve visual clarity. Laptop computers, power tools, telephones, cameras and more also use the lanthanum nickel metal hydride rechargeable batteries for long lasting power. Lanthanum is also an important component of fuel for planes, trains and automobiles.


This particular element has the capability to detect radiation, improve permanent magnets, store digital data, precisely aim lasers, emit sonar pings or glow in the dark. This is the reason why this element is used for sonar sensors, positioning actuators, active noise and vibration cancellation, seismic waves and so on. It is also used as an additive to magnets in hybrid and electric vehicles.