Named after Stockholm, Sweden, this rare earth element is prized for its ability to concentrate magnetic properties thus increasing the magnetic intensity. Used in MRI machines, Holmium boosts magnetic intensity to the level required to measure the nuclear spin within the human body. Holmium impurities in crystal create color centers that can store optical energy that can be released in the form of laser light pulse.

Before researching the history and properties of this element, the name itself brought to mind Sherlock Holmes, which inspired the iconic profile. Learning the actual background of the element, I included map images of the city of Stockholm as the background along with the Swedish flag. I considered also including the iconic IKEA logo, but instead featured a section of Scandinavian-inspired graphical fabric. I attempted to show a cross section of the skull as seen on an MRI scan, but while the computer-aided designed fabric captures the separation of the left and right hemisphere, a friend observed “that is one seriously disturbed brain.” The laser light image made possible by Holmium becomes highly intense when combined with next-door neighbor, Erbium.

One thought on “Holmium

  1. Maureen Kelly Jonason says:

    How many all togther have Swedish connections? I am betting the Swedish Society would love to see them all!

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