What does Stockholm, eye surgery and magnets have in common?Who out there is familiar with holmium? Go on, raise your hand, don't be shy! This week's element is holmium, another rare earths metal which has the symbol Ho and the atomic number, 67. This element was named after Stockholm, the hometown of one of this element's co-discoverers. As you can see in the above image, holmium has a lovely metallic lustre and is silvery-white in colour. It also is fairly soft and malleable. Like the other rare earths metals, holmium is never found in its pure form in the wild. To this day, it remains quite challenging to separate from other rare earths metals, which it associates with.Holmium is another element that is not very interesting to biologists because it is neither essential to life, nor is it poisonous. However, that said, holmium does have medical applications, particularly in Ho-YAG...
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