Yttrium Facts

Yttrium Facts
Yttrium (Y) has an atomic number of thirty-nine. This rare-earth element ignites easily in air, and has been found in rocks retrieved from the moon.
Interesting Yttrium Facts:
In 1794, Johann Gadolin isolated yttrium in the mineral ytterbite.
This mineral was found in Ytterby, Sweden, giving it its name.
In 1828, Friedrich Wohler extracted an impure sample of yttrium by reducing anhydrous chloride and potassium.
Yttrium is a transition metal that is often called a rare earth element.
Yttrium is a soft element and is considered stable in air when in a large piece.
Part of its stability comes from the coating of oxide that builds up to protects its exposed surfaces.
Whenever yttrium is sliced into shavings or small particles, it actually becomes unstable.
In the solar system, yttrium was created from stellar nucleosynthesis.
Isotopes of yttrium are some of the most common by-products of nuclear fission.
Two of yttrium's isotopes, Y-90 and Y-91, are vital in nuclear waste management.
There are at least 32 known synthetic isotopes of yttrium.
One of the least stable isotopes of yttrium is Y-106, which has a half-life of around 150 nanoseconds.
In 1987, a high-temperature superconductor was made from yttrium, along with barium and copper.
The created yttrium barium copper oxide was only the second material known to be a superconductor at such a high temperature.
That yttrium-containing material was the first ever to achieve superconductivity at a temperature higher than the boiling point of nitrogen.
Elemental yttrium is never found in nature.
However, it is found in most of the rare earth minerals.
The Earth's crust is made up of about thirty-one parts per million yttrium.
That makes yttrium the 28th most common element.
Yttrium is around 400 times more common than silver.
The NASA Apollo missions to the Moon brought back samples of lunar rock which contained yttrium.
While almost all living organisms contain yttrium, it does not appear to have a biological function.

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