Cerium is one of the lanthanoids, also known as rare-earth elements. They are a series of chemical elements that sit on a separate line at the bottom of the periodic table.
Cerium is the most abundant of the rare-earth elements and it pops up in spectacle glass and as a UV filter in window glass.
It is also how self-cleaning ovens clean, and how cigarette lighter flints spark.
All this and more as we explore cerium with Professor Allan Blackman from AUT.
The Elemental podcast is celebrating 150 years since the periodic table was first published by Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev.
Find out more about events during the United Nation’s International Year of the Periodic Table.
Nights with Bryan Crump is also celebrating the chemical elements during their Friday night Sonic Tonic and Element of the Week.
Professor Allan Blackman is at Auckland University of Technology.