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    Palladium by Materialscientist for Wikimedia

The name Palladium, pronounced puh-ley-dee-uhm, comes from space! It was named after the asteroid Pallas, which was discovered at around the same time in 1803. Both names come from the Greek Goddess of Wisdom, Pallas.

So if you’re in this zone, get your thinking caps on to come up with some wise questions and do Pallas proud.

Palladium is silvery-white, shiny and very rare: thirty times more rare than gold. Despite this, we have found plenty of ways to use it.

    This belt buckle is plated with Palladium

The biggest use of palladium is in catalytic converters. These convert the harmful gases produced by cars (like carbon monoxide) into less nasty ones (like nitrogen and water vapour).

Palladium is also used to make jewellery: it can be used to make white gold white.

You might even find palladium hiding in your mouth! It’s often used in dentists to make crowns and bridges for people who have lost or damaged teeth. Even if you don’t have a mouth full of palladium though, this element can still help you to smile.

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