Disappearing Elements

What would life be like without them?

Neodymium and Arsenic

by Harini K

Neodymium

  • Lanthanide series
  • rare earth element
  • metal
  • isn't found freely in nature

3 Uses

  • NIB magnets with iron and boron
  • crystal in lasers
  • special goggles for glass blowing and coloring glass

What would life be like without it?

Because neodymium is one of the main metals used to make NIB magnets, which are used in everything from cell phones to medical equipment to motors and wind turbines, the world would be a very different place until something else is found to replace neodymium. Neodymium crystals are used in lasers, and without these lasers, the world of medicine would be changed forever because the lasers are used to treat certain types of cancer. Additionally, the lasers are used to cut steel and other metals. Goggles made for glass-blowers can't be made without neodymium and without proper goggles safety would be a big issue while glass blowing. Big changes would have to be made to the way glass is shaped without neodymium.

Arsenic

  • Group 15, Period 4
  • metalloid

3 Uses

  • insecticides
  • less than 2% arsenic allowed to be used in ammunition
  • 0.00001% necessary for healthy nervous system

What would life be like without it?

There wouldn't be too much of an impact on life if arsenic suddenly started disappearing. There are many other chemicals used in pesticides that could be substituted for arsenic. It isn't as commonly used now as it used to be in ammunition, too. The only thing that might cause a giant change in our lives is the 0.00001% our bodies need for healthy nervous systems. If our bodies don't adapt to that not being there, there will probably be a variety of nervous system issues that we will be experiencing.