Ytterbium is a chemical element that is a soft silver metal. It is represented by the atomic number 70 and the chemical symbol Yb. It is a part of the lanthanide category of elements and is classified a rare earth element. Ytterbium is found in the minerals, gadolinite, monazite, and xenotime, from which it is extracted commercially. Ytterbium is relatively stable, but should be stored in a closed container to protect it from moisture and air. If you want to know who discovered this chemical element, keep reading to find out.
Who discovered ytterbium?
Ytterbium was discovered in 1878 by the famous Swiss chemist Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac. He had recently discovered a new component in a type of Earth that was known as Erbia. He named this component ytterbia and hypothesized that it was a compound of a new element, which he named ytterbium. This hypothesis wasn’t confirmed until 1907 when French chemist Georges Urbain was able to separate ytterbia into two elements ytterbium and lutetium. It is thought that Austrian scientist Carl Auer von Welsbach also did this around the same time. The physical and chemical properties of the element were not discovered until the mid 1950′s when the first almost pure ytterbium metal was produced.
Did you know?
Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac also discovered gadolinium, 2 years after his discovery of Ytterbium.