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hard white metallic element, 1804, Modern Latin, coined by its discoverer, English physician William H. Wollaston (1766-1828), and named for the color of solutions containing it, from Greek rhodon "rose" (see rose (n.1)) + metallic element ending -ium.
rhodium rho·di·um (rō'dē-əm)
A hard durable metallic element. Atomic number 45; atomic weight 102.905; melting point 1,964°C; boiling point 3,700°C; specific gravity 12.41; valence 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
A rare, silvery-white metallic element that is hard, durable, and resistant to acids. It is used as a permanent plating for jewelry and is added to platinum to make high-temperature alloys. Atomic number 45; atomic weight 102.905; melting point 1,966°C; boiling point 3,727°C; specific gravity 12.41; valence 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. See Periodic Table.