yt·​ter·​bi·​um | \ i-ˈtər-bē-əm How to pronounce ytterbium (audio) \

Definition of ytterbium

: a soft metallic element of the rare-earth group that occurs especially with other rare earth elements in minerals and that has few commercial uses — see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of ytterbium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The ytterbium and aluminum clocks were housed in one lab in Boulder, Colorado, and the strontium clock was housed in another lab just under a mile across town, according to NPR. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "New Atomic Clocks May Someday Redefine the Length of a Second," 1 Apr. 2021 Honeywell's president of Quantum Solutions, Tony Uttley, emphasized to Ars that this eliminates manufacturing issues, as every single device has identical properties defined by the atom being used (ytterbium in this case). John Timmer, Ars Technica, "New entry in commercial quantum computing, using entirely different tech," 3 Mar. 2020 Monroe’s firm uses another long-standing technology: applying magnetic fields to trap ions of ytterbium whose quantum state is read out using lasers. Elizabeth Gibney, Scientific American, "The Quantum Goldrush," 26 Nov. 2019 Nitrogen is put in diamond, phosphorous in silicon, and ytterbium in yttrium-aluminum-garnet crystals. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Quantum computing’s also-rans and their fatal flaws," 30 Nov. 2019 Here, the quantum state is not generally stored in a single ytterbium ion. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Quantum computing’s also-rans and their fatal flaws," 30 Nov. 2019 In one experiment, a group led by Christopher Monroe of the University of Maryland, College Park, created a time crystal in an engineered system of a chain of ytterbium ions. Frank Wilczek, Scientific American, "The Exquisite Precision of Time Crystals," 16 Oct. 2019 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, "Nanoparticles Will Give You Superhuman Night Vision," 27 Aug. 2019 With names like europium, scandium and ytterbium, the bulk of rare earth minerals are extracted from mines in China, where lower wages and lax environmental standards make production cheaper and easier. Washington Post, "US-China trade war sparks worries about rare earth minerals," 8 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ytterbium.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ytterbium

1879, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ytterbium

New Latin, from Ytterby, town in southern Sweden

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Time Traveler for ytterbium

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The first known use of ytterbium was in 1879

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Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ytterbium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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yt·​ter·​bi·​um | \ i-ˈtər-bē-əm How to pronounce ytterbium (audio) \

Medical Definition of ytterbium

: a bivalent or trivalent metallic element of the rare-earth group that resembles yttrium and occurs with it and related elements in several minerals symbol Yb — see Chemical Elements Table

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