/err"bee euhm/, n. Chem.
a rare-earth metallic element, having pink salts. Symbol: Er; at. wt.: 167.26; at. no.: 68.
[1835-45; < NL, named after Ytterby, Sweden, where first found; see -IUM]

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 (Er), chemical element, rare-earth metal of the lanthanoid series of the periodic table. Erbium is a grayish silver element that also occurs as a series of pink compounds. It had limited commercial uses until the age of fibre-optic telecommunications, when it became an important constituent of the signal repeaters in long-distance telephone cables.

      The element was discovered (1843) as an oxide by Carl Gustaf Mosander (Mosander, Carl Gustaf), who originally called it terbia. In the confusion arising from the similarity in the properties of the rare-earth elements, the names of two, terbium and erbium, became interchanged (c. 1860). The element occurs in many rare-earth minerals, among the more important being xenotime and euxenite. Erbium occurs also in the products of nuclear fission. Commercial purification is accomplished by ion-exchange methods. The metal itself has been prepared by thermoreduction of the anhydrous fluoride with calcium. It is slowly oxidized by oxygen and water. At low temperatures the element is antiferromagnetic, and at very low temperatures, ferromagnetic and superconductive. Natural erbium is a mixture of six stable isotopes: erbium-162 (0.136 percent), erbium-164 (1.56 percent), erbium-166 (33.41 percent), erbium-167 (22.94 percent), erbium-168 (27.07 percent), and erbium-170 (14.88 percent).

      Erbium behaves as a typical rare-earth element, forming compounds in which its oxidation state is +3, such as the pink oxide Er2O3. The Er3+ ion is pink in solution and is strongly paramagnetic because of the presence of unpaired electrons. In addition, when raised to a high energy state by absorption of infrared light, the Er3+ ion emits photons at wavelengths of 1.55 micrometres—one of the wavelengths commonly employed in fibre-optic signal transmission. For this reason, erbium-doped fibre amplifiers are used to boost the power of light signals transmitted through long-distance optical cables.

atomic number
atomic weight
melting point
1,529° C
boiling point
2,862° C
specific gravity
9.066 (25° C)
oxidation state
electronic config.
[Xe]4f 125d06s2

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Erbium — (pronEng|ˈɝbiəm) is a chemical element with the symbol Er and atomic number 68. A rare, silvery, white metallic lanthanide, erbium is a solid in its normal state. It is a rare earth element associated with several other rare elements in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Erbium — Holmium ← Erbium → Thulium …   Wikipédia en Français

  • erbium — [ ɛrbjɔm ] n. m. • 1864; du lat. mod. erbia; cf. erbine ♦ Chim. Élément atomique (Er; no at. 68; m. at. 167), métal trivalent du groupe des terres rares dont on ne connaît qu un oxyde terreux, l erbine. Les sels d erbium ont une teinte rougeâtre …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Erbĭum — Er, Metall, findet sich im Gadolinit und in wenigen andern seltenen Mineralien als Silikat. Atomgewicht 166. Es bildet mit Sauerstoff Erbiumoxyd (Erbinerde) Er2O3, ein rosenrotes Pulver, das rötliche, sauer reagierende, süß adstringierend… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Erbium — Er bi*um, n. [NL. from Ytterby, in Sweden, where gadolinite is found. Cf. {Terbium}, {Yttrium}, {Ytterbium}.] (Chem.) A rare earth element of the lanthanide series associated with several other rare elements in the mineral gadolinite from Ytterby …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Erbium — (E). Unter dem Namen Yttrium ist bisher ein Metall beschrieben worden, welches fast stets zwei andere Metalle, das E. u. das Terbium, beigemengt enthielt. Das E. ist noch nicht bekannt; das Oxyd desselben, das Erbiumoxyd (Erbinerde) ist… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Erbium — Erbium, Symbol Er, Atomgew. 166, chemisches Element; gehört zu den Metallen der sogenannten seltenen Erden; findet sich im Gadolinit, Euxenit. Bujard …   Lexikon der gesamten Technik

  • Erbium — Erbĭum, chem. Zeichen Er, im Gadolinit vorkommendes seltenes Metall …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Erbium — Erbium, Gemenge aus Yttererde, Terbiumoxyd und E. oxyd …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • erbium — Symbol: Er Atomic number: 68 Atomic weight: 167.26 Soft silvery metallic element which belongs to the lanthanoids. Six natural isotopes that are stable. Twelve artificial isotopes are known. Used in nuclear technology as a neutron absorber. It is …   Elements of periodic system

  • erbium — 1843, coined in Modern Latin with metallic element name ium + erbia, name given by Swedish chemist Carl Gustaf Mosander (1797 1858), who discovered it, from second element in Ytterby, name of a town in Sweden where mineral containing it was found …   Etymology dictionary

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