The periodic table of tech

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51. AntimonyAbout 60 percent of antimony goes toward making flameproof compounds for children's clothing, toys, and seat covers. A smaller use of antimony is as a fining agent to remove microscopic bubbles in glass, mostly for TV screens.

52. TelluriumWhen paired with cadmium (48), tellurium creates cadmium telluride photovoltaics, and offers a cheap and efficient method of manufacturing solar panels.

53IodinePotassium iodide and silver iodide, two different iodine compounds, are used in film photography. A layer of silver iodide sits directly on the film or photo paper and reacts with white light to complete the image.

54. XenonThe individual cells in a plasma display—such as the Panasonic VT50—employ a mixture of xenon and neon that electrodes convert into a plasma. Xenon arc lamps are present in IMAX film projection systems.

55. Cesium is used in atomic clocks, which manage time in applications such as cell phone networks. Atomic clocks also aid in the timing of the information flow of the Internet. You can buy a Cesium atomic clock online, though it will cost quite a bit since it is more of a niche item.

56. Bariumtypically as barium nitrate, is added to fireworks to turn them green.

57. Lanthanum helps produce nickel-metal hydride batteries, which most hybrid cars use. A typical hybrid battery for a Toyota Prius requires 22 to 33 pounds of lanthanum.

58. Cerium is an essential component of phosphors present in TV screens.

59. Praseodymium helps to form the core of carbon arc lights, which are used for studio lighting and projector lights in theaters.

60. Neodymium is a direct component of neodymium magnets, the strongest permanent magnets known. They are found in hard drives, such as this Western Digital internal drive. 

61. PromethiumMost promethium is used only for research purposes, but it could be employed in atomic batteries.

62. SamariumYou can find samarium cobalt magnets in small motors, headphones, high-end magnetic pickups for guitars (such as Samarium cobalt noiseless guitar pickups) and related musical instruments.

63. Europium is present in LCD monitors (such as this model from Acer) as a component of phosphors. It helps to make colors, specifically red, vibrant.

64. Gadolinium acts as the recording medium for CDs.

65. Terbium is another component of LCD-monitor phosphors. It helps to increase the vibrancy of colors, especially green.

66. Dysprosium: Because dysprosium and its compounds are highly susceptible to magnetization, they are employed in various data storage products, such as hard disk drives (including the Seagate Barracuda desktop hard drive).

67. Holmium has few commercial applications, but it is used to make parts for magnets that produce intense magnetic fields, such as the magnetic flux concentrator.

68. Erbium is pinkish in color, and commonly serves to color glass for photo filters (such as in the Lomography Colorsplash 35mm camera).

69. Thulium is rare and expensive, so it's found in few commercial products. However, it has acted as a power source for portable X-ray machines and in parts of microwave equipment.

70. Ytterbium isn’t widely used commercially, but this silvery metal is found in laser technology, specifically in wavelength-tunable solid-state lasers. These lasers cut silicon wafers for solar panels.

71. LutetiumA tiny amount of this rare element is added to gadolinium gallium garnet (a synthetic crystalline material) to alter its electrical properties. In the early days of computers, the result contributed to a method of recording data in bubble-like magnetic regions on the surface of a chip. For a look at this vintage computing method, read up on Intel 7110-1 bubble memory.

72. Hafnium is part of a compound that is employed as a gate insulator in some processors, such as Intel’s 45-nanometer processors. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 Slim Edition feature different 45nm processors.

73. Tantalum is present in capacitors for electronics, such as motherboards. Most motherboards, like the MSI Z68A-G43 (G3), feature tantalum capacitors.

74. Tungsten is a component of cathode ray tubes, or CRTs, which are found in monitors (like this old Dell CRT) and old-school TVs.

75. RheniumAbout 70 percent of the worldwide rhenium production goes to making jet-engine parts, due to its high melting point. Turbine blades for jet engines such as the Airbus A380 are made from rhenium.

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