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Good article Ytterbium has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
December 26, 2012 Good article nominee Listed
WikiProject Elements (Rated GA-class, Mid-importance)
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Article changed over to new Wikipedia:WikiProject Elements format by mav 06:40, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC). Elementbox converted 11:59, 10 July 2005 by Femto (previous revision was that of 13:21, 9 July 2005). 9 July 2005

Information Sources[edit]

Some of the text in this entry was rewritten from Los Alamos National Laboratory - Ytterbium. Additional text was taken directly from the Elements database 20001107 (via, Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (via and WordNet (r) 1.7 (via Data for the table was obtained from the sources listed on the subject page and Wikipedia:WikiProject Elements but was reformatted and converted into SI units.

Color of pure ytterbium at a clean surface[edit]

The color of pure ytterbium is silvery-white. Only if the ytterbium are oxidized then it is golden-silvery at the surface. All people can test it: a simply cut of a ytterbium piece can see the difference. --Alchemist-hp (talk) 17:12, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Cut material from three sources...all exhibit exact same brassy golden color. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:46, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Per wikipedia policy on no original research any information that you add to wikipedia must be backed up by a reliable source. Polyamorph (talk) 17:49, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Material is colored. Fact is Fact. The image is poorly exposed. Find another image. If you only "trust" images contact me and I can send several. David Keim. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:41, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Your facts are wrong, the 89th edition of the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (2009) states that "Ytterbium has a bright silvery luster". Show us an equally reliable source that states that pure Ytterbium is "brassy golden" coloured. As for your original research are you cutting the metals in air? Ytterbium reacts with air and water, if it is not stored in an inert environment it will easily oxidise. Polyamorph (talk) 18:57, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Facts in a German book: Harry H. Binder, "Lexikon der chemischen Elemente" S.Hirzel Verlag Stuttgart-Leipzig: (pure) not oxidized Ytterbium is a silvery-white metal. I know it too. I'm an owner of very pure sublimed destilled ytterbium (99,993%) under argon atmoshere: it looks simply silvery-white and NOT golden colored. Exposed to the air it will take a couple of weeks to be oxidized and will be golden colored. Other purities of Yb can be golden, yes, but not the pure ytterbium. --Alchemist-hp (talk) 19:22, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

On your offer to sell me "silvery" Yb...These look the same as the specimens I have. Take an image of Tm, Yb, Lu side by side. Any color differences will be apparent. As for cutting, the Yb shows the same yellow color immediately on cutting, so, unless it reacts quicker than U, Pr, Li or even Na and K when cut, it must be golden. You remind me of the people who refuse to believe Cs is golden. Just try to find a reference older than 15 years ago that does not list Cs as "silvery" or the like. Also, to really see colors of metals, it really can only best be observed in side by side images. However, another way to evaluate color, is to prepare mirror-finished specimens and allow them to reflect off of each other. Golden (Yb, Au) look wonderfully gold (much more so than slightly yellow-cast silver metals such as Ir, Gd, Nd, W) and bluish metals such as Ga and Os look amazingly blue when this is done correctly. If you are so concerned about Wiki accuracy, you might want to review the so-called pure Ac metal image posted on the Ac is nonsensical. Not looking to buy new specimens of Yb, thanks anyway, David Keim. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:47, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Please stop editing warring in the article mainspace over this. We have clearly explained why your information is incorrect and have reliable sources to back up the observation that pure Yb is "a silvery-white metal". Since reliable sources are more important on wikipedia than individual users point of view and original research your continued edits in article mainspace are not welcome. Polyamorph (talk) 15:49, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Have you ever prepared multiple samples of fresh Thulium, Ytterbium and Lutetium metals side by side? Apparently not.

Alchemist-hp has already described how they have observed high purity elements under an inert environment. Infact many of the high quality, high resolution images of these elements were created by Alchemist-hp. You haven't described the atmosphere you store your elements in but it's very likely they are not very pure samples and/or are already oxidised.Polyamorph (talk) 17:42, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

I have dozens of books and documents that state Cesium is silver. It took three emails just to convince WEBELEMENTS to change their description for Cesium to golden. And wikipedia now blames cesium color on oxidation despite an excellent work done about twenty years ago (The Colors of Alkali Metals) refuting the oxidation-caused color of cesium. You just do not seem to be willing to accept that a similar situation is at hand here, inert atmosphere or not. I suspect you are even unwilling to accept that many of the elemental metals have a color cast. It is nonsense to believe all except gold and copper are "silvery-white" considering their different electron configurations effect on reflectivity across the spectrum. Even pure samples of the platinum group metals (easily available in high purity and UNOXIDIZED) show a remarkable variation in optical properties which are easily observed as color variation. Alchemist-hp and yourself would just need compare samples with an open mind than these differences will become obvious and the description of "exhibits a bright slightly golden-silvery luster. In color, it is slightly less golden than cesium, but, notably more golden in color than a yellow-cast as in metals like iridium" would be seen as much more useful and telling to then your generic "bright silvery". David K.

Please don't speculate what we are and focus on this element, not others - the entire note above is irrelevant. Wikipedia is designed to document notable facts supported by reliable, preferably secondary sources. All you need to is provide such sources. If they deem reliable (and especially if they explain why two colors, but this is not crucial) then we can mention both possibilities. Materialscientist (talk) 00:43, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Hmm. Greenwood and Earnshaw 2nd edition (p.112) says that Ca, Sr, Ba, Eu, and Yb are pale yellow, although the golden colour isn't as intense as for Cs... Double sharp (talk) 06:29, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Argumentium[edit] Should be linked to in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:38, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

In the section about the most stable clock, it mentions the "high number" of atoms as being key to the clock's stability, but the number of atoms quoted is only 10,000. Is there an error here? KE7KTO (talk) 17:58, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

10,000 seems correct by the source, but you're right; I wouldn't call 10,000 a "high number" when talking about atoms. Double sharp (talk) 02:13, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Ytterbium/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Casliber (talk · contribs) 09:45, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

  • I'll make straightforward copyedits as I go and drop questions below. Casliber (talk · contribs) 09:45, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
'Due to its closed-shell electron configuration, some of its properties, such as its density and melting and boiling points, show differences from those of the other lanthanides. - bit clunky, why not simply, "Due to its closed-shell electron configuration, its density and melting and boiling points differ from those of the other lanthanides." ?
 Done StringTheory11 (tc) 18:36, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
Hard to tell from reading - do the allotropes all look the same? If so can it be stated, if not then can the differences be clarified?
Hmmm, quite a bit of digging has failed to turn up any information.... I'll keep looking, but I may not be able to do this. StringTheory11 (tc) 04:15, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
I believe that for metallic elements the allotropes look essentially the same by eye since they all have a metallic framework/packing/bonding. Only non-metals which form molecular networks exhibit visual differences. Nergaal (talk) 17:40, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Hmm, I know that tin is an exception to this rule in that gray tin looks different from the other common allotrope.[1] I think some more digging is necessary to find out if this holds true for ytterbium as well.
Unfortunately, even after more digging online, I have failed to uncover any information. Since I currently do not have access to a library, does anyone have the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics that is used to reference most parts of the allotropes paragraph? If so, does it say anything about the appearance? If not, I don't think we will ever be able to get this; even a google image search only turned up images of the crystal structure of the allotropes, not the allotropes themselves. StringTheory11 (tc) 05:13, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Okay - you gave it your best shot. Casliber (talk · contribs) 12:06, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Tin is an exception because gray tin has covalent bonds (it has the diamond cubic structure), not metallic bonds. Double sharp (talk) 08:11, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
at any temperatures above 1.0 kelvin. - is "any necessary?
 Done StringTheory11 (tc) 18:36, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
Interestingly, in modern quantum optics, the different isotopes of ytterbium follow either Bose-Einstein statistics or Fermi-Dirac statistics,[9][10] leading to significant behavior in optical lattices. - can this be expanded in any way to explain it to a layperson?
I've removed the whole sentence. Since all isotopes follow either statistic, this point can really apply to any element. Consider this  Done StringTheory11 (tc) 21:23, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
The Ytterbium as dopant of active media section is a bit disjointed. I found myself wondering about the overlap between paras 1 and 2. It is also not clear to me why it is used (as a dopant) and what it does that is useful.
 Done StringTheory11 (tc) 21:23, 21 December 2012 (UTC) an inert atmosphere... - like what?
 Done StringTheory11 (tc) 18:36, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
Metallic ytterbium dust poses a fire and explosion hazard. - any elaborative material? Left me curious....
 Done StringTheory11 (tc) 18:36, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
Better - still leaves me wondering...does it combust spontaneously does metal ignite anyway....Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:26, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
It appears to spontaneously combust when powdered. I have added this to the article. StringTheory11 (tc) 19:44, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Not bad overall. Casliber (talk · contribs) 10:03, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

I'll get to the rest of these soon, but I'm really busy right now. Could you give me until at least the solstice to finish this? StringTheory11 (tc) 02:42, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, no problem. The aim is to get a good article and I think a proper work up rather than a speedy one is good. Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:12, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

  • It is most often recovered commercially from monazite sand (0.03% ytterbium).
  • The most important current (2008) sources of ytterbium are the ionic adsorption clays of southern China.
This is a little contradictive--Stone (talk) 16:50, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
    •  Done; the second statement was unsourced. StringTheory11 (tc) 05:13, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Add parameters to FN 20.
If you're going for FAC at some point, conforming the refs might be good - eg. I see two formats used for retrieval dates (2012-12-23 and 23 December 2012) - just choose one and align all others.

1. Well written?:

Prose quality:
Manual of Style compliance:

2. Factually accurate and verifiable?:

References to sources:
Citations to reliable sources, where required:
No original research:

3. Broad in coverage?:

Major aspects:

4. Reflects a neutral point of view?:

Fair representation without bias:

5. Reasonably stable?

No edit wars, etc. (Vandalism does not count against GA):

6. Illustrated by images, when possible and appropriate?:

Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:


Pass or Fail: the ref formatting is minor and no barrier to GA. nice work. Casliber (talk · contribs) 12:12, 26 December 2012 (UTC)