Atomic number: 70
Year discovered: 1878 and 1907.
Discovered by: Jean-Charles-Gallissard de Marignac (1817-1894), a Swiss chemist, and Georges Urbain (1872-1938), a French chemist.
- In 1878, Marignac discovered a component, which he called ytterbia, in the earth then known as erbia.
- In 1907, Georges Urbain and A. C. von Welsbach independently showed that Marignac’s earth was composed of two oxides which Urbain called “neoytterbia” and “lutecia”.
- The elements in these earths are now known as “ytterbium” and “lutetium”, respectively.
- They are identical with “aldebaranium” and “cassiopeium”, discovered independently and at about the same time by von Welsbach.
- The impure element was first prepared by Klemm and Bonner, in 1937, who reduced ytterbium trichloride with potassium.
- Ytterbium has few uses. It can be alloyed with stainless steel to improve some of its mechanical properties and used as an agent in fiber optic cable as an amplifier.
- Some ytterbium is also used in making lasers.
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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.