Thursday, July 21, 2005

Today's Word: Yttrium

Yttrium! What is it?

It's an element! From Sweden, no less.

It was discovered in 1794 in the Swedish town of Ytterby which is near Stolkholm. The little hamlet of Ytterby is responsible for the discovery of four unique elements! All from one quarry!

Yttrium is responsible for the red phosphors in your television sets! Yttrium is also a very strong element, and it is used to fortify alloys like aluminum and magnesium. In its natural state, it has a silvery metallic lustre.

Wow! Are you bored with Yttrium yet?

Well don't be!

When Yttrium is combined with aluminum in a crystal form, it becomes something spectacular! It becomes YAG - Yttrium Aluminum Garnet! YAG is a bright and durable crystal that has a place in both the fashion and the medical industries.

YAG is one of the most popular forms of synthetic diamond! All of those late night home-shopping show advertisements for faux-diamonds? YAG! It's easy for a trained jeweler to spot a fake diamond (they do it by flipping the stone over at looking at how light refracts through the stone - not by inspecting the cut or sparkle) but how many of us are professional gemologists? Not me! I say if it looks good, then enjoy it!

YAG has a more serious side to it than baubles and trinkets though.

Advances in technology have opened up the field of laser medicine. Lasers are used now for their extreme accuracy and minimal tissue damage. And you can't have a laser without a crystal. Rubies are often used but YAG gives lasers greater control because it can be altered with additional elements like neodymium! You can use lasers for everything from cosmetic surgery and hair removal to vision correction. YAG is used in all of these procedures!

Yttrium is a rare element that permeates out modern world!



Blogger Mojo said...

There once was a man from Ytterby,
Who's girlfriend loved stones glittery,
On one knee in the Atrium,
He presented her Yttrium,
Her reply: you're cheap and jittery!

10:34 AM  
Blogger Mr. Word said...

What a lovely limerick! I'm glad to see that you're able to put these words to use!

I've always been a fan of the sestina, a complex French form built from six sestets and a concluding tercet. The peculiar thing about the sestina is how it uses a lexical repetition as the lyrical device!


4:52 PM  

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