On October 14 of 1878, the French chemist Marc Delafontaine wrote that he had isolated a new earth from the mineral samarskite (now known as Samarium, Sm). He called this earth Philippium, after the chemist and physician Philippe Plantamour (Plantamour was Delafontaine's friend and benefactor). Unfortunately, Delafontaine's laboratory was destroyed in the great Chicago Fire, and the Philippium and all related work was lost. Today, our best guess is that Philippium is identical with what we now call Holmium

Phi*lip"pi*um (?), n. [NL. So named from Philippe Plantamour, of Geneva, Switzerland.] Chem.

A rare and doubtful metallic element said to have been discovered in the mineral samarskite.

<-- no such element -->

 

© Webster 1913.

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