So, today I want to tell you about the metal samarium
Samarium is a rare earth so-called f-metal, it is located in the lanthanide portion of the periodic table of chemical elements.
Samarium got its name from the Samarskite mineral from which samarium itself is obtained, and the mineral itself was named in honor of the Russian mining engineer Vasily Samarskiy-Bykhovets. In appearance, metal samarium looks shiny, with a yellowish tinge due to the formation of samarium monoxide on air.
Also, pieces of samarium have an extremely pronounced crystalline structure, which is also called a metal’s dendrites. In air, samarium oxidizes quickly, covering itself with a layer of oxide, that is why it is best to be stored in an inert atmosphere in a glass ampoule. If a piece of samarium is to be thrown into hydrochloric acid, it will start actively dissolving in it, forming a samarium chloride of yellow color. The activity of samarium is comparable to its neighbors - neodymium and praseodymium.
Interestingly enough, the salts of samarium have a weak luminescence, meaning they glow dimly with a red-orange light under the ultraviolet rays.
Also, the samarium chloride solution slightly absorbs ultraviolet radiation, this can be seen if you pass a ray of the ultraviolet laser through a solution of samarium chloride.
The standing next to it phosphor solution begins to glow dimmer after passing through the laser beam through the solution.
When alkali is added to the solution of samarium chloride, the white samarium hydroxide precipitates, which then can be dissolved in trilon b, the descaling agent for the kettles. In the acetic acid, samarium dissolves in the same way as neodymium, forming samarium acetate, which is immediately decomposed because of the hydrolysis in water.
Metal samarium is a paramagnetic substance, meaning it is weakly attracted to a powerful neodymium magnet.
Although, if samarium is alloyed with the metal cobalt, then from such an alloy it is possible to make some very good and rather powerful samarium-cobalt magnets.
The magnetic saturation or the magnetic force of these magnets is higher than that of ferrite magnets, but lower than that of neodymium magnets.
However, the operating temperature of such magnets sets records among the magnets - this magnet won’t degauss even at 500 degrees Celsius, when neodymium can degauss at 55 degrees. Such magnets are used in the top-end electric motors, as well as in jet engines, where the operating temperature is quite high.
In air, a small piece of samarium does not burn from the burner due to the high melting point, although the samarium powder will light up and burn quite well.
When samarium burns in air, samarium oxide is formed, which is added to the glass used for lasers to absorb excess ultraviolet as well as infrared radiation.
Samarium oxide itself under the ultraviolet light glows with a slight yellow color.
Today samarium compounds have many uses, for example, the squares drug, which is a samarium complex, and is used to treat cancer tumors, samarium compounds are used as Lewis acids in organic synthesis.
Also, the isotope of samarium, samarium 149, is an excellent neutron absorber, which creates a problem in the nuclear industry. The reason being is that during the decay of nuclear fuel, the formed samarium 149 absorbs the slow neutrons, which are quite necessary for the normal operation of the reactor. Samarium 149, along with the other isotopes of gadolinium, are called reactor poison.
Also, samarium monosulfide has an extremely high ability to convert temperature difference into electrical energy, being similar to Peltier elements.
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