YTTRIUM [[[symbol]], Y; atomic weight, 89 o (0= 16)], a metallic chemical element.
In its character yttrium is closely allied to, and in nature is always associated with, cerium, lanthanum, didymium and erbium (see Rare Earths).
For the preparation of yttrium compounds the best raw material is gadolinite, which, according to Kiinig, consists of 22.61% of silica, 34.64.
Metallic yttrium is obtainable as.
Or by electrolysing the double chloride of yttrium and sodium.
By repeated fractionations he was able to divide yttrium into distinct portions which gave different spectra when exposed in a high vacuum to the spark from an induction coil.
This result he considered to be due, not to any removal of impurities, but to an actual splitting-up of the yttrium molecule into its constituents, and he ventured to draw the provisional conclusion that the so-called simple bodies are in reality compound molecules, at the same time suggesting that all the elements have been produced by a process of evolution from one primordial stuff or "protyle."
Ekeberg discovered an element, tantalum, in some Swedish yttrium minerals.
This "new earth" turned out to be nothing more nor less than a basis yttrium phosphate.