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ytterbium (Yb)

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A silver-white, metallic element of the lanthanide series. First isolated in 1878, ytterbium's chief ore is monazite. The shiny, soft element is used to produce steel and other alloys. Its most common isotope is 174Yb (31.84%).

In 2009,a team of scientists announced it had managed to teleport a single ion of ytterbium – a world's first. Previously, teleportation had been restricted to photons. The group conducted teleportation between two ions of ytterbium (Yb+): an original that held a unique quantum state, and a second 'blank' target ion.1

atomic number 70
relative atomic mass 173.04
relative density 6.97
melting point 824°C (1,515°F)
boiling point 1,193°C (2,179°F)


1. Olmschenk, S. et al. Science 323, 486–489 (2009).

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