Ytterbium Research Papers

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Ytterbium is a rare earth metal, one of the elements found in Row 6 of the periodic table. It has an atomic number of 70, an atomic mass of 173.04, and a chemical symbol of Yb. Ytterbium is a typical metal that is both ductile and malleable. It has a melting point of 1,515°F (824°C), a boiling point of 2,600°F (1,427°C), and a density of 7.01 grams per cubic centimeter. Ytterbium is a relatively reactive element that is usually stored in sealed containers to prevent its reacting with oxygen of the air. Ytterbium is one of the more common rare earth metals with an abundance in the Earth 's crust of about 2.7-8 parts per million. Its most common ore is monazite, which is found in beach sands in Brazil, India, and Florida. It is extracted from its ores by heating lanthanum metal with ytterbium oxide (Yb2O3): 2La + Yb2O3 2Yb + La2O3. Ytterbium was "discovered" over a period of more than 20 years by three chemists: Jean-Charles-Galissard de Marignac (1817-94) of France, Lars Fredrik Nilson (1840-99) of Sweden, and Georges Urbain (1872-1938) of France. The three chemists all worked on a mineral known as yttria originally discovered near the town of Ytterby, Sweden, in 1787. The mineral eventually yielded nine new chemical…show more content…
Generally speaking, however, it has almost no commercial application of significance. Other authorities reserve credit for the discovery of the latter element, however, for the French chemist Georges Urbain (1872-1938). Urbain showed in 1907 that Nilson 's ytterbia was actually a mixture itself of two oxides. The first he named Leticia and the second, neoytterbium, in order, he said, "to leave the illustrious Marignac, in the future, the credit of his fundamental discovery." The name of the second element was eventually shortened, however, to ytterbium. Ytterbium is identical to cassiopeium, discovered at about the same time by Auer von Welsbach
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