Atomic number: 70

Symbol: Yb

Category: lanthanoid metal

Density at 25°C: solid: density: 6.90 g·cm−3

This lanthanoid element was only purified in 1953 due to its similarities with the other lanthanoids. It is slightly more hazardous than the other lanathanoids tending to burn more easily. It now mostly used in fibre optic technology.

Small sample of ytterbium metal. image:

Use, natural applications or common combinations: 

  • potential x-ray production
  • optical fibre technology
  • found in minerals monazite, euxenite, and xenotime.
  • some alloys

Basic characteristics:

  • Standard atomic weight: 173.054(5)
  • Melting point:  824 °C
  • Boiling point: 1950 °C
  • Radioactivity: most naturally stable
    • 176Yb ( 12.67%) is only slightly radioactive with a half life 1.6×1017 years