A rare element of the group of the earth metals, allied to aluminium. It occurs in certain rare minerals, as cerite, gadolinite, orthite, etc., and was so named from the difficulty of separating it from cerium, didymium, and other rare elements with which it is usually associated. Atomic weight 138.5. Symbol La.
- A soft, silvery-white, malleable, ductile, metallic rare-earth element, obtained chiefly from monazite and bastnaesite and used in glass manufacture and with other rare earths in carbon lights for movie and television studio lighting. Atomic number 57; atomic weight 138.91; melting point 920°C; boiling point 3,469°C; specific gravity 5.98 to 6.186; valence 3. See Table at element.