Ytterbium is a soft, silvery-white metal of the lanthanide group. The metal is soft and malleable, oxidises slowly in air and reacts with water. Applications of the metal are limited, research being the principal area of its use as well as in special alloys for X-ray sources.


1878 by J.C.G. de Marignac in Geneva, Switzerland.

It has an abundance of 3.3 ppm in the earth’s crust and is always found in combination with other lanthanides.

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Atomic number 70 Clip
Atomic / Molecular Weight 173.04 gmol-1Clip
Density 6966 kgm-3Clip
Crystal Structure fcc / bcc at 1071K Clip
Lattice constant 549 fmClip
Melting Point 1097 KClip
Boiling Point 1773 KClip
Specific heat capacity 146 Jkg-1K-1Clip
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See also: Periodic Table.

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Subjects: Chemistry