terbium

Ytterby, Sweden is a small mining village that has, amazingly, bequeathed its name to four elements that were discovered in ores from the local mine; terbium, element 65, is one of these. The metal was discovered and named in 1843 by Swedish chemist Carl Gustaf Mosander. He writes in an 1843 issue of the London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine:

What chemists have hitherto considered as yttria, does not consist of one oxide only, but is [...] to be regarded as a mixture of at least three. [...] If the name of yttria be reserved for the strongest of these bases, and the next in order receive the name of oxide of terbium, while the weakest be called oxide of erbium, we find [etc.].1

Terbium has the chemical symbol Tb.

The other elements named after Ytterby are yttrium, ytterbium, and erbium.


1Oxford English Dictionary, terbium, 2nd Edition, 1989, Oxford University Press, accessed 20 October 2009, http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50249249.

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