Pal*la"di*um, n. [NL.] (Chem.) A rare metallic element of the light platinum group, found native, and also alloyed with platinum and gold. It is a silver-white metal resembling platinum, and like it permanent and untarnished in the air, but is more easily fusible, with a melting point of 1555 C. It can also be prepared as a finely divided black powder. It is unique in its power of absorbing hydrogen, which it does to the extent of nearly a thousand volumes, forming the alloy Pd2H. It is used for graduated circles and verniers, for plating certain silver goods, and somewhat in dentistry. It was so named in 1804 by Wollaston from the asteroid Pallas, which was discovered in 1802. Symbol Pd. Atomic number, 46. Atomic weight, 106.42. Density 12.0.
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