Celebrating 150 years of the periodic table

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Prof. Dr. Karsten Haases Lieblingselement ist Neodym aus der Gruppe der Seltenen Erden oder Lanthanoiden. (Image: FAU/Erich Malter, image editing: FAU/Luisa Macharowsky)

Prof. Dr. Karsten Haase, Chair of Endogenous Geodynamics, on neodymium:

“Due to my research, my favorite element is neodymium from the group of rare earths or lanthanides. Neodymium and the other rare earths occur in all rocks of the Earth´s crust and the Earth´s mantle in very low concentrations. The measuring of those elements has substantially contributed to the understanding of the chemical development of the planet Earth and the solar system.

Neodymium has seven isotopes of which two, namely ¹⁴²Nd und ¹⁴³Nd, formed through radioactive decay.

The measuring of those isotopes allows us geoscientists to determine the age of rocks, which are sometimes billions of years old, and to give information on the formation of the solar system and the earth. The gravity of Neodymium is now widespread as the element is an important component of some of the strongest magnets, which are for example used in electric engines.”

Further interviews within the framework of the “150 Jahre Periodensystem” series as well as more exciting stories about FAU can be found on our website and the FAU Facebook page.