Dictionary > Erbium

Erbium

Erbium (symbol: Er) is a metallic element associated with several other rare elements in the mineral gadolinite from Ytterby in Sweden (where its name was derived). Its salts are rose-coloured and give characteristic spectra. Its sesquioxide is called erbia. It has an atomic weight of 165.9. In medicine, it is used in optical fiber amplifier-lasers as it has optical fluorescent properties. It is used in laser surgery and in dental laser enamel ablation. Its function in the human body is largely unknown although it is presumed to stimulate metabolism.1

References

  1. Emsley, John (2001). “Erbium”. Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. Oxford, England, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 136–139.

© Biology Online. Content provided and moderated by Biology Online Editors



You will also like...

Golgi apparatus (3-D illustration)
Role of Golgi Apparatus & Endoplasmic Reticulum in Protein Synthesis

The endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus are the organelles involved in the translation step of protein synthesis a..

Birth Control and Contraception
Birth Control and Contraception

Different pregnancy and birth control and contraception strategies are described. Read this tutorial to learn each of th..

Independent Assortment and Crossing Over
Independent Assortment and Crossing Over

This tutorial describes the independent assortment of chromosomes and crossing over as important events in meiosis. Read..

Circulation
Circulation

The circulatory system is key to the transport of vital biomolecules and nutrients throughout the body. Learn about the ..

Biological Energy
ATP & ADP – Biological Energy

ATP is the energy source that is typically used by an organism in its daily activities. The name is based on its structu..

human brain structure
The Conscious & Unconscious Nervous System

This tutorial elaborates on how the nervous system works, particularly at the tissue level of the brain. There are three..