yttrium

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yttrium

yttrium (ĭtˈrēəm) [for Ytterby, a town in Sweden], metallic chemical element; symbol Y; at. no. 39; at. wt. 88.90585; m.p. about 1,522℃; b.p. 3,338℃; sp. gr. about 4.45; valence +3. Yttrium is a highly crystalline iron-gray metal. Usually considered a rare-earth metal, it is found above lanthanum in Group 3 of the periodic table. Yttrium is fairly stable in air but oxidizes readily when heated. It reacts with water and mineral acids. The largest use of the element is as its oxide yttria, Y2O3, which is used in making red phosphors for color television picture tubes; it also has other uses. Yttrium metal has found some use alloyed in small amounts with other metals. Yttrium is not found uncombined in nature, but occurs in many minerals, e.g., gadolinite, euxenite, and xenotime. It is recovered commercially from monazite and bastnasite. In 1794, Johan Gadolin isolated impure yttria from the mineral gadolinite. In 1843, C. G. Mosander isolated pure yttria as well as two impure fractions that he called erbia and terbia. The metal was first isolated in 1828 by Friedrich Wöhler.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Yttrium

 

a chemical element in Group III of the Mendeleev periodic system. Atomic number, 39; atomic weight, 88.9059. One stable isotope, 89Y, exists in nature.

Yttrium, scandium, lanthanum, and lanthanides make up the rare earths, a group of elements that are very similar in chemical properties, occurrence in nature, and history of discovery.

Yttrium is a light metal, with a density of 4.472 g/cm3. Theisotope 89Y has a small capture cross section for thermal neu-trons (1.38 ×a 10-28m2, or 1.38 barns), so that the element can be used as a construction material in nuclear engineering. The high durability of relatively light yttrium-aluminum alloys makes them highly suitable for aircraft construction. Yttrium ferrites can be prepared from yttrium oxide, Y2003 (of very highpurity); these ferrites are used in radio electronics, hearing aids, and computer memory cells.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

yttrium

[′i·trē·əm]
(chemistry)
A rare-earth metal, symbol Y, atomic number 39, atomic weight 88.9059; dark-gray, flammable (as powder), soluble in dilute acids and potassium hydroxide solution, and decomposes in water; melts at 1500°C, boils at 2927°C; used in alloys and nuclear technology and as a metal deoxidizer.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

yttrium

a silvery metallic element occurring in monazite and gadolinite and used in various alloys, in lasers, and as a catalyst. Symbol: Y; atomic no.: 39; atomic wt.: 88.90585; valency: 3; relative density: 4.469; melting pt.: 1522?C; boiling pt.: 3338?C
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005