Symbol Er. A soft silvery metallic element belonging to the lanthanoids; a.n. 68; r.a.m. 167.26; r.d. 9.006 (20°C); m.p. 1529°C; b.p. 2863°C. It occurs in apatite, gadolinite, and xenotine from certain sources. There are six natural isotopes, which are stable, and twelve artificial isotopes are known. It has been used in alloys for nuclear technology as it is a neutron absorber; it is being investigated for other potential uses. It was discovered by Carl Mosander (1797–1858) in 1843.
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