AskDefine | Define scandium

Dictionary Definition

scandium n : a white trivalent metallic element; sometimes classified in the rare earth group; occurs in the Scandinavian mineral thortveitite [syn: Sc, atomic number 21]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Scandium



(Symbol: Sc)
  1. a metallic chemical element, atomic number 21, obtained from some uranium ores; it is a transition element.


  • eka-boron (name given by Dmitri Mendeleev to the then undiscovered element at the position of scandium in his periodic table)

Related terms


External links

For etymology and more information refer to: (A lot of the translations were taken from that site with permission from the author)

Extensive Definition

Scandium () is a chemical element that has the symbol Sc and atomic number 21. A silvery white metal that is always present as compounds, scandium ores occur as rare minerals from Scandinavia and elsewhere, and it is sometimes considered along with yttrium, and the lanthanides and actinides, to be a rare earth element.

Notable characteristics

Scandium is a rare, hard, silvery, rough very dark metallic element that develops a slightly yellowish or pinkish cast when exposed to air. It is not resistant to weathering when pure and is destroyed on prolonged contact with most dilute acids. However, like some other reactive metals, this metal is not attacked by a 1:1 mixture of nitric acid (HNO3) and hydrofluoric acid, HF.
The rarity of scandium is not an arbitrary fact. The thermonuclear reactions that produce the elements in this range of atomic numbers tend to produce much greater quantities of elements with an even atomic number. These elements were usually produced by the fusion of lighter elements with helium-4 nuclei, starting with carbon-12 (element six). Thus, the common elements in the range of scandium are atomic numbers 18 (argon), 20 (calcium), 22 (titanium), and 24 (chromium); with elements with odd atomic numbers 19 (potassium), 21 (scandium), and 23 (vanadium) being rarely produced, and thus much less common. The production of the odd-numbered elements in this range result from much less common thermonuclear reactions, as is explained elsewhere.


Since it is not a very common metal, scandium does not have many applications. If it were more common, it might be useful in the making of aircraft and spacecraft structures, probably alloyed with other metals.
It is used in lacrosse sticks; a light yet strong metal is needed for precise accuracy and speed. Backcountry tent manufacturers sometimes use scandium alloys in tent poles. U.S. gunmaker Smith & Wesson produces a few variations including a large, medium, and small lightweight revolver with a frame composed of scandium alloy and a titanium cylinder.
Approximately 20 kg (as Sc2O3) of scandium is used annually in the United States to make high-intensity lights. Scandium iodide added to mercury-vapor lamps produces an efficient artificial light source that resembles sunlight, and which allows good color-reproduction with TV cameras. About 80 kg of scandium is used in light bulbs globally per year. The radioactive isotope Sc-46 is used in oil refineries as a tracing agent.


The most common oxidation state of scandium in is +3. Scandium chemically resembles yttrium and the rare earth metals more than it resembles aluminium or titanium. Thus scandium is sometimes seen as the scandium oxide, Sc2O3, and as scandium chloride, ScCl3.


Naturally occurring scandium is composed of 1 stable isotope 45Sc. 13 radioisotopes have been characterized with the most stable being 46Sc with a half-life of 83.8 days, 47Sc with a half-life of 3.35 days, and 48Sc with a half-life of 43.7 hours. All of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half lives that are less than 4 hours, and the majority of these have half-lives that are less than 2 minutes. This element also has 5 meta states with the most stable being 44mSc (t½ 58.6 h).
The isotopes of scandium range in atomic weight from 40 u (40Sc) to 54 u (54Sc). The primary decay mode at masses lower than the only stable isotope, 45Sc, is electron capture, and the primary mode at masses above it is beta emission. The primary decay products at atomic weights below 45Sc are calcium isotopes and the primary products from higher atomic weights are titanium isotopes.

See also

scandium in Afrikaans: Skandium
scandium in Arabic: سكانديوم
scandium in Asturian: Escandiu
scandium in Bengali: স্ক্যানডিয়াম
scandium in Belarusian: Скандый
scandium in Bosnian: Skandijum
scandium in Bulgarian: Скандий
scandium in Catalan: Escandi
scandium in Czech: Skandium
scandium in Corsican: Scandiu
scandium in Danish: Scandium
scandium in German: Scandium
scandium in Estonian: Skandium
scandium in Modern Greek (1453-): Σκάνδιο
scandium in Spanish: Escandio
scandium in Esperanto: Skandio
scandium in Basque: Eskandio
scandium in Persian: اسکاندیم
scandium in French: Scandium
scandium in Friulian: Scandi
scandium in Manx: Scandjum
scandium in Galician: Escandio
scandium in Korean: 스칸듐
scandium in Armenian: Սկանդիում
scandium in Hindi: स्काण्डियम
scandium in Croatian: Skandij
scandium in Ido: Skandio
scandium in Indonesian: Skandium
scandium in Icelandic: Skandín
scandium in Italian: Scandio
scandium in Hebrew: סקנדיום
scandium in Javanese: Skandium
scandium in Kannada: ಸ್ಕ್ಯಾಂಡಿಯಮ್
scandium in Swahili (macrolanguage): Skandi
scandium in Haitian: Skandyòm
scandium in Kurdish: Skandiyûm
scandium in Latin: Scandium
scandium in Latvian: Skandijs
scandium in Luxembourgish: Scandium
scandium in Lithuanian: Skandis
scandium in Lojban: jinmrskandi
scandium in Hungarian: Szkandium
scandium in Macedonian: Скандиум
scandium in Malayalam: സ്കാന്‍ഡിയം
scandium in Marathi: स्कॅन्डियम
scandium in Dutch: Scandium
scandium in Japanese: スカンジウム
scandium in Norwegian: Scandium
scandium in Norwegian Nynorsk: Scandium
scandium in Occitan (post 1500): Escandi
scandium in Uzbek: Skandiy
scandium in Polish: Skand
scandium in Portuguese: Escândio
scandium in Quechua: Iskandyu
scandium in Russian: Скандий
scandium in Sicilian: Scandiu
scandium in Simple English: Scandium
scandium in Slovak: Skandium
scandium in Slovenian: Skandij
scandium in Serbian: Скандијум
scandium in Serbo-Croatian: Skandij
scandium in Finnish: Skandium
scandium in Swedish: Skandium
scandium in Thai: สแคนเดียม
scandium in Vietnamese: Scandi
scandium in Turkish: Skandiyum
scandium in Ukrainian: Скандій
scandium in Chinese: 钪
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