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Discoveries Among the Rare Earths

  • Roland Adunka
  • Mary Virginia Orna
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Molecular Science book series (BRIEFSMOLECULAR)

Abstract

When Johan Gadolin (1760–1852) took up the challenge of examining a small sample of a strange mineral found in the feldspar mine near the little Swedish village of Ytterby in 1788, little did he realize that he would set in motion a search that would last for over a century. The sample, named “ytterbite” by Lieutenant Carl Axel Arrhenius (1757–1824), its discoverer, could not have fallen into more skilled hands. Gadolin, at that point in his career climbing the academic ladder at the Royal Academy in Åbo (present day Turku), Finland, had studied chemistry under Torbern Bergman (1735–84) at Uppsala and excelled in analytical chemistry.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Auer von Welsbach-MuseumAlthofenAustria
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryCollege of New RochelleNew RochelleUSA

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