Europium Element Number 63 Eu

This photo shows a piece of Europium metal I have in oil taken with a flash, the colors that I picked up are stunning, the small photo is adjusted to show interesting traits of this metal. 

Below  are two photos, left is a small chunk of pure Europium metal in Argon. The right photo shows pure Europium Oxide, which is used in phosphors.

 Eu 63 Lanthanide AW:151.964  D:5.264  MP:1519  BP:2784

 Europium is the most reactive of the rare earth metals. Europium is a silver shiny metal, but because of it's extreme reactivity, the silver color is rarely  preserved beyond moments. Europium like most rare earth metals is difficult to process into pure elemental metal, most if not all applications exploit Europium Oxide.

Europium Is found in monazite, usually about one half of a percent. Europium is also a fission product of nuclear reactors.  Europium is found in small amounts, due to the high isotope mass numbers such as Eu152. Europium has 35 produced  radioisotopes and 2 natural isotopes

Most of Europium's industrial uses involve phosphorescence. CRT TV screens use Europium for red phosphors, giving brilliant red hues. before Europium color TV had weak red phosphors and poor color balance. Other than color for TV and monitors, Europium can be used to dope glass for lasers and other glass. Europium is used in other compounds, as a component or a dopant for phosphor and afterglow products.

It is notable that Europium can form compounds in both divalent and trivalent state. Most Lanthanide elements generally form compounds in +3 oxidation state.  The ability to for Europium to utilize +2 and +3 oxidation states, also helps with the current availability of Europium today.

Gadolinium Element Number 64 Gd 

 This is a pure chunk of Gadolinium weighing about 143 grams. at room temperature Gadolinium is magnetic.

Gd 64 Lanthanide  AW:157.25  D:7.90  MP:2394  BP:5923

 Gadolinium is the first rare earth metal I purchased because I like to experiment with NIB magnets. Gadolinium is one of four elements that are magnetic under normal conditions.Gadolinium is a soft silvery metal, which is relatively stable in air. Gadolinium enjoys more  uses and is more abundant than many other rare earths.

Gadolinium can be used as an alloy agent and can greatly improve Iron and Chromium alloys. Gadolinium Gallium Garnets are used as fake-o diamonds, and for bubble memory materials. Bubble memory was a funky storage system for computers that was obsolete by the 1980's along with my old  5 color ribbon printer, which could print letters in five colors!!!

Gadolinium also can be used as a phosphor, and scintillator for positron emission tomograpy and neutron detection applications, Gadolinium is also used as x ray tracers and contrast agents in medicine.

Gadolinium can be used as a neutron poison or nuclear poison. The term poison refers to the ability for the material to absorb neutrons, and control, shield, manipulate and shut down nuclear power reactors.  Gadolinium has the highest neutron cross-section of all stable nuclei's, giving Gadolinium excellent neutron absorption.