Ytterbium (Yb) is a silvery coloured metal that has the atomic number 70 in the periodic table. It is a Lanthanide metal.
Ytterbium is not found free in the earths crust but in ores most commonly Monazite. Ytterbium is used in portable x-ray machines due to its radioactive properties and also used in earthquake monitoring stations. Ytterbium reacts quickly with air and water and tarnishes readily. Ytterbium was discovered in Ytterby the Swedish village which Yttrium, Terbium and Erbium also draw their name from. It is a solid metal at room temperature with a melting point of 824░c and a boiling point of 1196░c.
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Yttrium is used as catalyst in catalytic converters to reduce automotive carbon monoxide emissions and as a phosphor in TV screens, producing the red color. When alloyed with aluminum, magnesium and chromium, it acts to strengthen those metals. It is also used as a material in superconductors and lasers. An isotope of yttrium, Y90, is used in needles for certain surgical procedures.