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The Boston Globe

Science

For clean energy and high-tech, building stronger magnets

The periodic table seems to epitomize an older, well-established version of science that is more high school chemistry than high-tech wind turbines or fuel-efficient car engines.

But whole swaths of the periodic table that most people have never heard of are crucial for technology and clean energy generation. And in recent years, these materials, with names like neodymium and yttrium, have been threatened by shortages and international politics.

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