Dysprosium is one of the 15 rare earth elements and was discovered in 1886 but was not available commercially till 1950. Through the discovery of the mineral Yttria in Sweden (a mineral made of 9 different elements) it took many years to separate them all out. It was not until 1886 when French chemist Paul-Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran was able to separate it out. Dysprosium is relatively unreactive and does not oxidise easily and it does not exist naturally in the earths crust. Dysprosium is used in nuclear reactions due to its ability to soak up neutrons. It is a solid metal at room temperature with a melting point of 1407°c and a boiling point of 2567°c.
Paul Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran