| Share
 

erbium

erbium (ûrˈbēəm) [key] [from Ytterby, a town in Sweden], metallic chemical element; symbol Er; at. no. 68; at. wt. 167.259; m.p. 1,529°C; b.p. 2,863°C; sp. gr. 9.05 at 25°C; valence +3. Erbium is a soft, malleable, lustrous, silvery metal. It is a member of the lanthanide series in Group 3 of the periodic table. With other rare earths its oxide occurs in the mineral gadolinite, found in Sweden. Natural erbium is a mixture of 6 stable isotopes; in addition, 10 radioactive isotopes are known. Erbium does not oxidize in air as rapidly as some of the other rare-earth metals. Erbia is a rose-colored oxide of erbium; it has been used to a very limited extent in glazes and glass as a coloring agent. The discovery of erbium is generally credited to Carl G. Mosander, although he did not succeed in isolating the element. In 1843 he separated from gadolinite three oxide fractions that he called yttria, erbia, and terbia. Later, what he had called terbia became known as erbia and was shown to contain five distinct rare earths, now called erbia, scandia, holmia, thulia, and ytterbia. Fairly pure erbium oxide was first isolated in 1905; fairly pure erbium was isolated in 1934.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on erbium from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Compounds and Elements


Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring