La - Lanthanum
Atomic Number: 57 Period Number: 6 Group Number: none
Lanthanum, which is the first element of lanthanide series, is a silvery white metal and rare-earth element. Lanthanum can be mainly found in monazite and bastnasite. Although the source of lanthanum is not rare, but the process to get pure material is very complex. There are two isotopes of Lanthanum in nature: 139 La, which abundance is 99.91% and 138La, which is radioactive.
One of the oldest uses of lanthanum metals is in the production of misch metal. Misch metal is an alloy that produces sparks when struck. One application of misch metal is in the manufacture of cigarette lighters. A new application of lanthanum glass is in making optical fibers. An optical fiber is a wire-like material made of glass Optical fibers are becoming more popular as methods for carrying audio, video, and digital messages. In many cases, optical fibers have replaced copper wires for this purpose.
Physical and Chemical properties:
Atomic Weight: 138.90547
Melting Point: 1191 K
Boiling Point: 3737 K
Density: 6.15 g/cm3
Phase at Room Temperature: Solid
Ionization Energy: 5.577 eV
Oxidation State: +3