de Bettencourt-Dias, Ana Department of Chemistry, University of Nevada Reno, Reno, Nevada.
Last reviewed:November 2020
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The designation given to the group of elements with atomic numbers 57 through 71, lanthanum through lutetium, respectively, also known as the lanthanides or lanthanoids, along with scandium, element 21, and yttrium, element 39. The rare-earth elements (rare earths; Fig. 1) are ubiquitous in our daily lives, and many of our modern-day technologies would not be possible without them. They are essential components in magnets used in the automobile and electronics industries, in rechargeable batteries, in phosphors used in color displays, and in imaging agents used in medical imaging applications, among other things. See also: Actinide elements; Lanthanide contraction; Periodic table; Scandium; Yttrium
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