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One Town, Four Elements: Ytterby

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There’s a small town in Sweden that has not one, not two, not three, but four elements named after it. Those elements–yttrium(Y), terbium (Tb), erbium (Er), and ytterbium (Yb)–were discovered by part-time chemist Carl Axel Arrhenius in the gadolinite, a black stone that’s also referred to as ytterbite, in Ytterby Mine on the Stockholm archipelago. From wikipedia:

In addition, three other lanthanides, holmium (Ho, named after Stockholm), thulium (Tm, named after Thule, a mythic analog of Scandinavia), and gadolinium (Gd, after the chemist Johan Gadolin) can trace their discovery to the same quarry making it the location with most elements named after it.

In this video, Tom Scott tells the story behind this historical landmark.

ytterby
Next: How The Elements Got Their Names and Helen Arney performs The Elements with 4 new elements.


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