Symbol Sc. A rare soft silvery metallic element belonging to group 3 (formerly IIIA) of the periodic table; a.n. 21; r.a.m. 44.956; r.d. 2.989 (alpha form), 3.19 (beta form); m.p. 1541°C; b.p. 2831°C. Scandium often occurs in lanthanoid ores, from which it can be separated on account of the greater solubility of its thiocyanate in ether. The only natural isotope, which is not radioactive, is scandium–45, and there are nine radioactive isotopes, all with relatively short half-lives. Because of the metal's high reactivity and high cost no substantial uses have been found for either the metal or its compounds. Predicted in 1869 by Dmitri Mendeleev, and then called ekaboron, the oxide (called scandia) was isolated by Lars Nilson (1840–99) in 1879.
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