Eugene Discovered samarium europium element

Eugene-Anatole Demarcay – discoverer of europium element

Category : Personalities
Published by : Data Research Analyst, Worldofchemicals.com

Biography & contributions

Eugene-Anatole Demarcay was a French chemist born on January 01, 1852 – died on March 05, 1903. Demarcay was considered as spectrum specialist and suspected samples of samarium chemical element. In 1901 he isolated europium element. Demarcay provided spectroscopic evidence that Marie and Pierre Curie's discovery of radium.

Facts about europium


Europium element was extracted fractions of the element from samarium-gadolinium concentrates and named the element after the continent of Europe. Europium contains symbol Eu, atomic number 63, atomic mass 151.97 g/mol, electron configuration [Xe] 4f7 6s2, density 5.27 g/cm3,melting point 826 °C, boiling point 1529 °C. Europium has the second lowest melting point and the lowest density of all lanthanides. Europium is the most active of the lanthanides. It reacts quickly with water to give off hydrogen. It also reacts strongly with oxygen in the air, catching fire spontaneously.

Europium has no significant biological role and is relatively non-toxic compared to other heavy metals. Europium can be found in the ores bastnasite and monazite. Europium can be easily molded or shaped and is about as hard as lead. It is the most reactive of the rare earth metals, quickly oxidizing in air and, like calcium. It also reacts quickly and vigorously with water.

It is produced by mixing europium oxide (Eu2O3) with a 10 percent excess of lanthanum metal and heating the mixture under high vacuum. Europium is produced by nuclear fission, but the fission product yields of europium isotopes are low near the top of the mass range for fission products.

Europium is a ductile metal with hardness similar to that of lead. It crystallizes in a body-centered cubic lattice. Europium becomes a superconductor in specific conditions like when it is cooled below 1.8 K and compressed to above 80 GPa.

Europium is commonly included in trace element studies in geochemistry and petrology to understand the processes that form igneous rocks. It is also used in phosphors in anti-forgery marks on Euro bank notes. Europium isotopes are good neutron absorbers and are used in nuclear reactor control rods.

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