Silvery as a metal; white as ytterbium oxide
Metallic ytterbium tends to self-ignition in air. In water it dissolves slowly, whereas in acids relatively fast. It has a high chemical activity and forms stable oxides, halides and sulfides.
As an alloy component it improves the dispersity, strength and mechanical characteristics. Furthermore, it is applied in arc lamps and in ceramic material and is also used as a doping material in laser technology.