It can be said that the way of naming is very lazy.
(commemorative plate of the discovery of elements in the Itbi mine. Photo Source: Uwezi,Wikimedia Commons)
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the story of the discovery of elements starts from the local Itbi mine, where local people mine feldspar. Feldspar is not a rare mineral, but it can make porcelain, and there is still a lot of market demand. In 1787, chemist Carl Axel Arrhenius discovered a strange, heavy black ore in the mine. He named the stones "ytterbite" and sent the samples to his friend chemist Johan Gadolin. Johan Gadolin first obtained a new metal oxide, yttrium oxide (Y2O3), from these ores. This is the first known rare earth compound. Yttrium is named after Itbi, which is called Yttrium.
since then, researchers have isolated more new rare earth elements from Itby's ores. The names of four elements are taken directly from Yttrium, Ytterbium, Terbium and Erbium. (the way of naming is probably to intercept different clips from Ytterby, which feels lazy enough. )
New elements are still being discovered, and it is not appropriate to continue to use a few letters of Ytterby, so chemists finally give up this naming method. Other elements found in local minerals have such names: Holmium, the Latin name Holmia; thulium (Thulium) from Stockholm, from Thule, an ancient Greek name from Scandinavia, and scandium (Scandium) from Scandinavia.
the discovery of these elements is very important, they not only improve the periodic table, but also various rare earth elements later found very important uses. For example, the famous "high temperature superconductor" (note: high temperature is relative, meaning that liquid nitrogen cooling is enough) yttrium barium copper oxygen, which contains yttrium found in Itby.
Why can a small village bring so many new element discoveries? Of course, there are some coincidences, but it is also related to the properties of rare earth elements. Rare earth metal elements often occur together in nature, and it is difficult to separate them from each other, so new elements can be continuously separated from ores in the same place.
Today, the Itby mine has long been abandoned, but there are still some local memorials of the discovery of elements. Examples include commemorative nameplates set up by the American Society for Materials Information (ASM International society), and roads named after elements. If you have the opportunity, you can also go there to have a look (although there may not be anything to see _ (: pictures) ∠) _).
the picture shows the local "Terbiumv ä gen" (terbium road), which is near the Itbi mine. Source: Uwezi,Wikimedia Commons
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