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Gadolinium is a soft, shiny, ductile, silvery metal belonging to the lanthanide group of the periodic chart. The metal does not tarnish in dry air but an oxide film forms in moist air. Gadolinium reacts slowly with water and dissolves in acids. Gadolinium becomes superconductive below 1083°K. It is strongly magnetic at room temperature.
Gadolinium has found some use in control rods for nuclear reactors and nuclear power plants; it is used to make garnets for microwave applications and its compounds are used for making phosphorous for colour TV tubes. Metallic gadolinium is rarely used as the metal itself, but its alloys are used to make magnets and electronic components such as recording heads for video recorders. It is also used for manufacturing compact disks and computer memory.