Chemical Element: lutetium

(Modern Latin: chemical element; from Gaulish-Latin, Lutetia, a fortified town of a Gaulish tribe of the Parisii, the ancient name of Paris; rare earth)

Chemical-Element Information

Symbol: Lu
Atomic number: 71
Year discovered: 1907-1908

Discovered by: Georges Urbain (1872-1938), a French chemist, and by Carl Auer, Freiherr von Welsbach (1858-1929), an Austrian chemist, working independently.

  • In 1907, Georges Urbain described a process by which Marignac’s ytterbium (1879) could be separated into the two elements, ytterbium (neoytterbium) and lutetium.
  • These elements were identical with “aldebaranium” and “cassiopeium”, independently discovered by von Welsbach at about the same time.
  • Pure metal lutetium has been isolated only in recent years and is one of the more difficult to prepare.
  • It can be produced by the reduction of anhydrous by an alkali or alkaline earth metal.
  • The metal is silvery white and relatively stable in air.
  • It is a rare earth metal and perhaps the most expensive of all rare elements.

Name in other languages:

French: lutécium

German: Lutetium

Italian: lutezio

Spanish: lutecio

Information about other elements may be seen at this Chemical Elements List.

A special unit about words that include chemo-, chem- may be seen here.