erbium

noun

er·​bi·​um ˈər-bē-əm How to pronounce erbium (audio)
: a metallic chemical element of the rare-earth group with atomic number 68 that is used especially in lasers, infrared light filters, and optical fibers see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of erbium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The practical choice of materials for solar cells are lanthanides like ytterbium or erbium, which have multiple energy levels for electrons to occupy. IEEE Spectrum, 30 Dec. 2022 Four of those elements are named in tribute to the village (ytterbium, erbium, terbium, yttrium). Mark Lorch, Discover Magazine, 9 June 2016 The UltraClear laser operates at the 2,910-nanometer wavelength using an erbium diode fiber, purportedly at the sweet spot where both pain (0–3 on a scale of 1–10) and downtime (roughly four days) are minimized. Jessica Ourisman, Harper's BAZAAR, 23 June 2023 Three of those elements—ytterbium, erbium, and terbium—were simply given additional variants on the name of Ytterby, while the other three were named holmium (for Stockholm), scandium, and thulium (both from the Latin for Scandinavia), in the nationalistic fashion then in favor. Hugh Aldersey-Williams, Discover Magazine, 21 Sep. 2011 The practical choice of materials for solar cells are lanthanides like ytterbium or erbium, which have multiple energy levels for electrons to occupy. IEEE Spectrum, 30 Dec. 2022 Four of those elements are named in tribute to the village (ytterbium, erbium, terbium, yttrium). Mark Lorch, Discover Magazine, 9 June 2016 Those nanoparticles contain two rare-earth elements, erbium and ytterbium, which help convert the infrared light into a higher energy green light that mammal eyes can detect. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, 27 Aug. 2019 The beam excites the erbium atoms, which then add their energy to optical data signals passing through the fiber and boost the signals' power enough to carry them 50 miles or more before needing another boost. Josh McHugh, WIRED, 1 Aug. 2001

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'erbium.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from Ytterby, Sweden

First Known Use

1843, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of erbium was in 1843

Dictionary Entries Near erbium

Cite this Entry

“Erbium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/erbium. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

erbium

noun
er·​bi·​um ˈər-bē-əm How to pronounce erbium (audio)
: a soft rare metallic element see element

Medical Definition

erbium

noun
er·​bi·​um ˈər-bē-əm How to pronounce erbium (audio)
: a metallic element of the rare-earth group that occurs with yttrium
symbol Er
see Chemical Elements Table

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