Dysprosium

Character – Dy – Dmytry Zolotoy

Dmytry Zolotoy is a wealthy man. But money has not brought him happiness. Now, in his final days, he attempts to fulfil the promise he made as a young man and seek redemption.

Extract from The Chemical Reaction

The palace towered over the bluff, high above the town of Vladivostok. Stone walls sheltered the ornamental shrubs from the Pacific monsoon to the east and the Siberian High to the west. Sunlight glinted on tall windows, the transoms lining up with the gaps between mature trees to give unimpeded views of Golden Horn bay. The wide stone stairs – partially covered with a curving steel ramp – led through fluted Doric columns and under a smooth architrave with carved triangular frieze to a double doorway. The customers arrived through this portal, some still walking, many in wheelchairs, a few on stretchers with fluid drips and oxygen masks, to this place of respite. To days, weeks, even months of peace and kindness. Before moving on . . .

The old man rocked by the window of his room on the second floor. Groan, clack, swish, squeak. Back and forward, the runners of the old oak chair catching on the rug in front, then slapping against the wooden floorboards behind. Back and forward, syncopated to the rhythm of his laboured breathing. He turned his face towards the sea and a shaft of sunlight illuminated his cloudy eyes. His lips moved silently and his fingers twitched, his brow furrowing as if searching for some memory.

His hand reached into his dressing gown, brushing aside the button that would summon medical assistance. Since the heart surgery, it wasn’t the doctors who were keeping him alive, it was the unfinished business. Slow fingers traced the golden chain down to the pendant and stroked the jade, tracing the circles of dragon fire with his pinkie as his heartbeat slowed and his breathing returned to normal.

So little time left, and so much still to do.

 

Emperor Quianlong Jade Treasure – The Wedding Cup

 

Lovers cup

 

 

Dysprosium metal – Atomic number 66, Atomic mass 162.50

Dy

First identified in 1886 by Paul Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran, Dysprosium was not isolated in pure form until the development of ion exchange techniques in the 1950s.

In the 1970’s Masato Sagawa, a junior research scientist at the Japanese electronics firm Fujitsu, began looking for materials to replace Cobalt-Samarium magnets, to stop lining the pockets of Zaire’s president, Mobuto Sese Seko, with his stranglehold on Cobalt supply from the Congo. The young Japanese scientist’s invention – a super strong Iron-Boron-Neodymium magnet looked promising at low temperature, but it lost its magnetic properties as it heated up. To counteract this, he added Dysprosium and revolutionised our world.

From the speaker inside your mobile phones, to the hard disc in your computer, through electric vehicles to the wind turbines that generate electricity, super-strong, feather-light NdFeB magnets (Neodymium- Iron-Boron) are tailor made to maximise performance with the addition of 3-6% Dysprosium.

99% of the Dysprosium used in the world comes from China.

 

Crossword Clue – Try the letters DY

DYX

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The Chemical Reaction by Fiona Erskine is published by the PointBlank imprint of Oneworld and is available here