In 1781, Karl Arrhenius found a black rock in Ytterby, Sweden and passed it on to Johan Gadolin. In 1794, Gadolin fully analyzed the rock and announced the discovery of yttrium in the form of yttrium oxide. Yttrium is typically found in rare-earth minerals such as gadolinite and is thus considered a rare-earth element. Due to its attractive physical and thermal properties, yttrium is often used to enhance other materials. For example, yttrium is used to increase the strength of aluminum and magnesium alloys, and in the form of yttrium oxide provides heat and shock resistance to camera lenses. Another application of yttrium is in the red emitting component for TV screens that use cathode-ray tubes. In 2009, Prof. Mas Subramanian and associates at Oregon State University discovered that yttrium, combined with indium and manganese, produces a non-toxic blue pigment, the first new blue pigment discovered since cobalt blue over 200 years ago.
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