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scandium bromide is an inorganic compound that was discovered by Lars Fredrick Nilson and his team of scientists in 1879. It is a rare earth element with the symbol Sc and atomic number 21. It occurs as a trace in a small number of minerals found in Scandinavia and Madagascar, such as euxenite and gadolinite.
It is also a radioactive and toxic metal. It is a component of the mineral radium, and when combined with other radium compounds it can cause severe poisoning. It is a highly reactive material and can rupture crystals, even at very low temperatures.
Symptoms of poisoning include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, chest pain, nervousness, weakness, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and difficulty breathing. It is especially dangerous for children.
Barium bromide is a white crystalline powder that is used as a precursor to a variety of chemicals. It is particularly useful for preparing other bromides that are widely used in photography.
In the early 1900s Marie Curie devised a process to purify radium by fractional crystallization using barium bromide. This method has since been refined to make more stable radium compounds, such as radon bromide.
Although scandium is a very rare element, it is useful to some industries for alloying purposes. It is added to aluminium alloys as a way of controlling grain growth in heat-affected zones, which increases the strength of the alloy. It is also added to a variety of aluminium-based sports equipment (such as lacrosse sticks), to improve its strength.