Everyone depends on Erbium every day in this day and age. This is because it is used every 50km or so in Erbium doped crystals to amplify broadband signals running through fibre cables. The crystals radiate light at 1530nm. It can be simply explained as redstone repeaters for people who have ever played Minecraft. Just take a second to appreciate Erbium for allowing you to learn about Erbium. Erbium every so often is used in glass. This is due to it absorbing infrared wavelengths. This is especially useful for people using welders and metal workers. Due to its slightly pink colour Erbium is used to colour imitation gems and sunglasses. Another use of Erbium is being used as an alloy with metals such as vanadium. It lowers its hardness and makes it easier to work with. Erbium was found in a small village in Sweden called Ytterby by a Swedish chemist, Carl Gustaf Mosander. Carl was studying gadolinite, in which he found two lanthanides which he named Erbium and terbium. Erbium and terbium are both named after the Ytterby mine, the origin of the gadolinite mineral. This mine was also the origin of the two elements yttrium and ytterbium.
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