Samarium

Atomic number: 62

Symbol: Sm

Category: lanthanoid metal

Density at 25°C: solid: density: 7.52 g·cm−3  [7.536] 

This element is mostly used for magnetic applications in alloys because they can still remain magnetic at high temperatures around 700°C , or not lose it's magnetic properties. 

Sublimated samarium about 2 grams. image adapted from wikipedia


Use, natural applications or common combinations: 

  • optical lasers
  • neutron absorber in nuclear reactors
  • studio lighting
  •  samarium-cobalt magnets, which have a nominal composition of SmCo5 or Sm2Co17


Basic characteristics:

  • Standard atomic weight: 150.36(2) 
  • Melting point:  1072 °C 
  • Boiling point: 1794 °C
  • Radioactivity: most are stable or have very long half lives emitting alpha particles(helium atom)
    • 153Sm has a half life of 46.3 hours but is used in cancer treatments because it releases gamma rays from beta- decay