Symbol: Al
Atomic Number: 13
Atomic Weight: 26.981538
Density: 2.6989 g/cc
Melting Point: 660 degrees C

Aluminum was discovered in 1827 and was considered a rarity until the late 1800's when a revolutionary process of extracting aluminum from cryolite was created. This development eventually led to the widespread use of aluminum in industry. It is the most common metal in the earth's crust and is found in many common minerals. It does not occur free in nature. Aluminum is a silvery-white metal and is extremely malleable, allowing it to be easily formed into aluminum foil. Its light weight and strength when alloyed gives it wide uses in aircraft and in many other applications where a high strength-to-weight ratio is desired. It is used as electrical wire as a cheap alternative to copper, though it is not as efficient in conducting electricity.


Symbol: Sb
Atomic Number: 51
Atomic Weight: 121.76
Density: 6.61 g/cc
Melting Point: 631 degrees C

Antimony is a very brittle, crystalline metal which has a bluish-white color and a metallic shine. The metal is a poor conductor of heat and electricity. The metal is stable in air but will burn at a temperature close to its melting point, giving off white fumes of oxide. Antimony and its compounds are considered toxic. It can exist as three allotropes, the metal being the only stable allotrope at room temperature. The others are yellow and black amorphous powders. The pure metal is used in the semiconductor industry, but its more common use is in hardening lead and as an alloy in type metal, bullets and batteries. The metal is extracted from ores but is occasionally found in the native state.


Symbol: Ar
Atomic Number: 18
Atomic Weight: 39.948
Density: 1.78 g/L
Melting Point: -189.35 degrees C
Boiling Point: -185.85 degrees C

Argon is an inert gas and no stable compounds are known. It is obtained from the fractional distillation of liquified air. It is used as a shielding gas for welding and as an inert gas in light bulbs and gas discharge tubes. In a discharge tube it gives off a faint bluish glow.


Symbol: As
Atomic Number: 33
Atomic Weight: 74.9216
Density: 5.73 g/cc
Melting Point: 817 degrees C (sublimes)

Arsenic is a silver-gray semi-metallic element. It has other known allotropes, yellow crystalline and black amorphous. It is fairly reactive, forming compounds with hydrogen, oxygen and the halogens. Arsenic and its compounds are extremely poisonous, arsenic being one of the most toxic elements on the periodic table. Arsenic and its compounds are used as insecticides, as doping agents for semiconductors and as a constituent in metal alloys. It sublimes at 614 degrees C and melts under pressure at 817 degrees C.


Symbol: Ba
Atomic Number: 56
Atomic Weight: 137.327
Density: 3.5 g/cc
Melting Point: 727 degrees C

Barium is a reactive metallic element of the alkaline-earth series of metals which includes calcium, magnesium, beryllium and strontium. The metal is soft and silvery white like lead. It oxidizes very easily and it is quite reactive with water, liberating hydrogen gas. A freshly exposed surface of the metal will tarnish to a white color within seconds, creating the oxide/peroxide. A piece left in open air will crumble to white oxide powder overnight. The metal is used as a oxygen getter in vacuum tubes due to its reactivity and affinity for oxygen. Barium compounds impart green colors to flames and are used in paints and glasses as well as fireworks. Barium and its compounds are also toxic and need to be handled with great care.


Symbol: Be
Atomic Number: 4
Atomic Weight: 9.012182
Density: 1.848 g/cc
Melting Point: 1287 degrees C

Beryllium is one of the lightest metals known and is very hard with a high melting point, making it very desireable for use in aircraft and spacecraft. It is unaffected by air at ordinary temperatures and can scratch glass, probably due to the formation of a thin, hard oxide layer.
Beryllium is a neutron emitter when exposed to alpha particles and is used in nuclear reactors due to its low thermal neutron absorption cross section. The metal and its salts are toxic and should be handled with great care. The metal is toxic in the fine powder state and poses a respiratory hazard. Under no circumstances should the metal be filed, cut or worked in any way without proper safeguards.


Symbol: Bi
Atomic Number: 83
Atomic Weight: 208.98038
Density: 9.747 g/cc
Melting Point: 271 degrees C

Bismuth is a silvery-white crystalline brittle metal with a slight pinkish color. It will keep its shine in air, but will burn with a blue flame forming yellow fumes of the trioxide. The metal is found in nature in small quantities but is extracted as a by-product of smelting of more common metals. Bismuth has the lowest thermal and electrical conductivity except for mercury. It reacts with the halogens and with sulfur and is dissolved in nitric acid and hot sulfuric acid. One of the fascinating properties of bismuth is that it is diamagnetic - it will repel a magnet. Place a small powerful magnet above a large piece of bismuth and the magnet will levitate above the bismuth due to repulsion. Bismuth is one of the few metals that expands upon solidification (about 3%) and makes itself useful in type-metal casting alloys where it offsets the thermal contraction of the other metals in the alloy. It is also extensively used in low-melting fusible alloys such as Wood's metal and other alloys used in fuses for sprinkler systems and electrical fuses.


Symbol: B
Atomic Number: 5
Atomic Weight: 10.811
Density: 2.377 g/cc
Melting Point: 2075 degrees C

Boron is a nonmetallic element that is extremely hard, brittle and either crystalline or amorphous. It will scratch glass. The crystalline form of boron is rather unreactive, oxidizing very slowly in air even at high temperatures. Some properties of boron resemble those of silicon and to a lesser extent carbon. It does not conduct electricity well at room temperature but does at higher temperatures. By far its most common occurrence is in its compounds, borax and boric acid.
High-grade boron of 99% purity or greater is manufactured and available commercially but is much more expensive than the technical grade of 93-94%. Applications of elemental boron are as a deoxidizer for metals and in control rods of nuclear reactors. Boron fibers are used in the plastics of tennis rackets due to their high strength and light weight.


Symbol: Br
Atomic Number: 35
Atomic Weight: 79.904
Density: 3.125 g/cc
Melting Point: -7 degrees C; Boiling Point 58.8 degrees C

Bromine is a reddish-brown heavy volatile liquid and is a member of the halogen group of elements along with fluorine, chlorine and iodine. It gives off noxious fumes and is the only liquid element other than mercury at room temperature. It combines readily with many elements and is fairly soluble in water. It occurs naturally as a compound in seawater and is usually extracted from that source. Bromine is a major component of ethylene dibromide and is used as milder alternative to chlorine in pools and spas. The liquid causes severe burns to the skin and its vapors are very irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract. It solidifies at a temperature just below the freezing point of water and shows a crystalline structure when solid.


Symbol: Cd
Atomic Number: 48
Atomic Weight: 112.411
Density: 8.65 g/cc
Melting Point: 321 degrees C

Cadmium is a soft, bluish-white metal resembling zinc in many ways. The metal and its compounds are toxic and should be handled with care. Cadmium is used in fusible alloys that melt at low temperatures. It is used as an alloy in bearings for low friction and fatigue resistance. The metal is used in electroplating but due to its toxicity is being phased out. It is a component of silver solder and also finds use in Ni-Cd rechargeable batteries. The yellow sulfide, CdS, is used as a yellow pigment.


Symbol: Ca
Atomic Number: 20
Atomic Weight: 40.078
Density: 1.55 g/cc
Melting Point: 842 degrees C

Calcium metal has a silvery-white color and is rather hard and malleable. It belongs to the alkaline earth family of metals, including beryllium, magnesium, strontium and barium. It is a light metal and you will feel this when you hold the piece in your hand. On exposure to air it forms a gray-colored protective coating of calcium nitride and at elevated temperatures burns with a yellow-red flame, forming mostly the nitride. Calcium is an excellent reducing agent used in the extraction of many metals. It is the fifth most abundant element in the earth's crust, occurring mainly in limestone as calcium carbonate.
The metal reacts moderately with water to form calcium hydroxide and hydrogen. In hot water the reaction is more vigorous. A drop of water placed on a small piece of calcium will start to react slowly, then accelerate from heat buildup and eventually blow off a puff of steam and hydroxide. Powdered calcium will ignite spontaneously in air. Calcium is similar to barium and strontium with regard to its fire properties.


Symbol: C
Atomic Number: 6
Atomic Weight: 12.0107
Density: depends greatly on form, ranges from 1.8 to 3.58 g/cc
Melting Point: 4492 degrees C

Carbon has been known since ancient times and is one of the most common elements in the earth's crust. The element exists in at least three allotropic forms: amorphous, graphite, and diamond. Amorphous carbon is the soot formed when carbon compounds are burned with insufficient oxygen. Graphite is crystalline and exists as alpha and beta crystalline forms. Graphite occurs native and can also be produced artificially. Graphite is primarily used as a lubricant and is actually the lead that is used in pencils. Diamond is one of the hardest substances known and is formed under extremely high pressure from other carbon forms. Naturally occurring diamonds are used for jewelry while synthetic diamonds are used for abrasives for polishing and cutting. Carbon can form more compounds than any other elements through endless chains of carbon-carbon bonds and is the basis for organic chemistry. Large soccer ball-shaped molecules consisting of 60-70 carbon atoms are known as buckminsterfullerenes were discovered several years ago and have many unusual properties.

Glassy Carbon:

Symbol: C
Atomic Number: 6
Atomic Weight: 12.0107
Density: 1.4 to 1.5 g/cc
Melting Point: 4492 degrees C

Glassy carbon is a vitreous form of carbon. It is pure elemental carbon that is extremely hard like glass and ceramics, unlike graphite carbon which is soft. It can take a high polish and has a very shiny surface. Glassy carbon can resist temperatures up to 3000 degrees C. It has a different microstructure than other forms of carbon. Glassy carbon has a fullerene-like structure, similar to carbon fullerenes, commonly called buckyballs, in which the carbon atoms are linked together in a large spherical shape of 60 to 70 atoms per molecule. It offers extreme corrosion resistance and is impermeable with no porosity. It may be used in high-strength applications where low density is desired. Like graphite it is a good electrical conductor. The manufacturing process for glassy carbon is difficult and extensive, requiring a few months to form the material from compounds and thermal treatment.


Symbol: Ce
Atomic Number: 58
Atomic Weight: 140.116
Density: 6.771 g/cc
Melting Point: 798 degrees C

Cerium is a member of the Rare Earth family of metals and is a silvery, lustrous metal which is rather soft and malleable. It is one of the most reactive of the rare-earth series and as a result must be stored under mineral oil or an inert atmosphere. It will tarnish in air and reacts with water at a similar rate to Calcium. It will spark readily when scratched with a knife or dropped on a metal surface. For this reason it is the principal metal used in Misch metal alloy, used for flints in cigarette lighters. Its oxide is an excellent polishing compound.


Symbol: Cs
Atomic Number: 55
Atomic Weight: 132.90545
Density: 1.873 g/cc
Melting Point: 29 degrees C

Cesium is the most reactive metal in the periodic table and will catch fire when exposed to air. It melts at temperatures just above room temperature and is sometimes referred to as the third liquid element in the periodic table. It was the first element to be discovered spectroscopically. The metal shows a unique golden color to its shiny metallic appearance.


Symbol: Cl
Atomic Number: 17
Atomic Weight: 35.453
Melting Point: -102 degrees C
Boiling Point: -34.04 degrees C

Chlorine is a reactive, poisonous gas and is not found free in nature. It has a green color which can be easily seen when viewed in a long glass tube. It combines readily with almost all elements forming chlorides. It is widely used in industry as a bleaching agent, in drinking water and swimming pools to control bacteria. Most chlorine is produced by the electrolysis of seawater. It is a suffocating noxious gas that attacks the skin and mucous membranes of the respiratory system.


Symbol: Cr
Atomic Number: 24
Atomic Weight: 51.9961
Density: 7.19 g/cc
Melting Point: 1907 degrees C

Chromium is a hard, steel-gray, lustrous metal that can take a high polish. Chromium has several oxidation states and is very resistant to corrosion, hence its extensive use for decorative plating. It dissolves readily in hydrochloric acid producing the green chloride. Some of its compounds are toxic.


Symbol: Co
Atomic Number: 27
Atomic Weight: 58.9332
Density: 8.9 g/cc
Melting Point: 1495 degrees C

Cobalt is a hard, magnetic, somewhat brittle metal resembling iron and nickel with regard to its physical properties, including magnetism. It is significantly more resistant to corrosion as compared to iron. The pure metal exists as a mixture of two allotropes resulting in variation of the reported physical properties of the metal. Cobalt has several industrial uses. It is an important alloying agent in high-speed cutting tools as well as finding use in electroplating for its appearance, hardness, and resistance to corrosion. Its salts impart a brilliant blue color to glass, porcelain, pottery and have been used since ancient times. Cobalt is usually recovered as a byproduct of refining other high-volume production metals. Alnico, an alloy of nickel, cobalt and aluminum is used to make permanent magnets.


Symbol: Cu
Atomic Number: 29
Atomic Weight: 63.546
Density: 8.96 g/cc
Melting Point: 1085 degrees C

Copper is a common base metal and has been known since ancient times. It is found in many minerals and ores and is sometimes found in the native state. It is reddish in color and is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. Copper has extensive well-known uses as electrical wire, brass and bronze, and many other important alloys.


Symbol: Dy
Atomic Number: 66
Atomic Weight: 162.5
Density: 8.54 g/cc
Melting Point: 1412 degrees C

Dysprosium is a member of the rare earth series of metallic elements. The metal has a bright silver lustre and is relatively hard compared to the others in the series with a high melting point. It is relatively stable in air at room temperature, but dissolves readily in acids and reacts very slowly with water. It is somewhat magnetic but not nearly as strong as iron or cobalt.


Symbol: Er
Atomic Number: 68
Atomic Weight: 167.259
Density: 9.045 g/cc
Melting Point: 1529 degrees C

Erbium metal is relatively soft and malleable and has a bright silvery luster. It is stable in air and does not oxidize as readily as some of the other rare-earth metals. This rare-earth metal is used as a doping agent in optical fiber to allow amplification of a light signal.


Symbol: Eu
Atomic Number: 63
Atomic Weight: 151.964
Density: 5.283 g/cc
Melting Point: 822 degrees C

Europium metal is about as soft as lead and has a silvery color which tarnishes quickly in air, turning a multitude of beautiful colors along the way. It is by far the most reactive of all the rare-earth series of metals and if left exposed to air will develop a yellowish oxide layer which flakes off exposing more metal to oxidation. It reacts rapidly with water releasing hydrogen, and will ignite in air at about 180C. Europium compounds are used in television screens to produce a red color.


Symbol: F
Atomic Number: 9
Atomic Weight: 18.9984032
Melting Point: -220 degrees C
Boiling Point: -188.12 degrees C

Fluorine is the most reactive element in the periodic table and is a extremely poisonous pale-yellow gas. It attacks most materials including glass and will combine with nearly every element including xenon. Its most useful compounds are Freon and other fluorocarbons that are used for refrigerants and propellants and Teflon which has many applications. Hydrofluoric acid is used to etch glass. Fluorine is extremely difficult to extract and was not isolated as an element until 1886 by Henri Moissan after decades of effort.


Symbol: Gd
Atomic Number: 64
Atomic Weight: 157.25
Density: 7.898 g/cc
Melting Point: 1313 degrees C

Gadolinium is a silvery-white lustrous rare-earth metal which is malleable and ductile. It is strongly attracted by a magnet. The metal is stable in dry air, but in moist air it tarnishes with the formation of an oxide film which flakes off and exposes more surface to oxidation. The metal reacts slowly with water and more readily in acids. A fascinating property of Gadolinium is the fact that when it is heated above room temperature it loses much of its magnetic strength, and gains it back when it is cooled. An important chemical used as a contrasting agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contains Gadolinium as its key component.


Symbol: Ga
Atomic Number: 31
Atomic Weight: 69.723
Density: 5.904 g/cc
Melting Point: 30 degrees C

Gallium is a brilliant silvery-white metal that melts just above room temperature. It will melt in your hand if held for several minutes. In the solid form it is brittle and will shatter like glass. The metal expands about 3% when it solidifies and will break a glass container if it solidifies inside it. Gallium in liquid form is considered corrosive since it will instantly alloy with most other metals upon contact, especially aluminum. The metal can occasionally exist in the supercooled state, meaning it can remain a liquid at temperatures significantly lower than its melting point. Seeding of the supercooled metal may be necessary to get it to solidify.
It has one of the widest liquid temperature ranges for a metal which makes it a good candidate for high-temperature thermometers. Gallium metal can supercool significantly below its melting point and needs some form of seeding in order to solidify. A very small solid chip of gallium metal placed in supercooled liquid gallium will cause it to solidify rapidly. High-purity gallium is attacked slowly by mineral acids. It is used in analog integrated circuits and also as mirror backings since gallium wets glass.


Symbol: Ge
Atomic Number: 32
Atomic Weight: 72.64
Density: 5.323 g/cc
Melting Point: 938 degrees C

Germanium is a very shiny, silver-white semi-metallic element that is unaffected by air and will keep its shine indefinitely. The element's main use is in transistors where it is doped with small amounts of other elements to create the desired semiconductor properties. The element is transparent to infrared light. Broken pieces of Germanium can have very sharp edges and should be handled as carefully as broken glass. The existence of Germanium was predicted by Mendeleev in 1871 who called it ekasilicon based in part on a void in the periodic table at that time just under silicon. It was discovered 15 years later. The metal dissolves slowly in hot concentrated H2SO4.


Symbol: Au
Atomic Number: 79
Atomic Weight: 196.96655
Density: 19.32 g/cc
Melting Point: 1064 degrees C

Gold is a soft metal that is alloyed when used in coins and jewelry to give it more strength. It is the most malleable and ductile of all metals, 1 ounce of gold can be beaten out to 300 square feet of foil. The metal is a good conductor of heat and electricity and very corrosion-resistant, being attacked only by aqua regia. It is estimated that all the gold in the world that has been refined could be placed in a single cube 60 ft. on a side. Gold is found free in nature usually associated with quartz, pyrite and other minerals.


Symbol: Hf
Atomic Number: 72
Atomic Weight: 178.49
Density: 13.31 g/cc
Melting Point: 2233 degrees C

Hafnium is a corrosion-resistant, ductile metal with a silver-white color. Its properties are extremely close to those of Zirconium, with the exception that Hafnium is twice as dense. The metals are extremely difficult to separate due to their chemical similarities. The metal is used in control rods for nuclear reactors due to its ability to absorb neutrons. Hafnium will burn at elevated temperatures, and in powder form it will react with water.


Symbol: He
Atomic Number: 2
Atomic Weight: 4.002602
Melting Point: -272 degrees C
Boiling Point: -268.9 degrees C

Helium is an inert gas and forms no known compounds. It is obtained from natural gas deposits by liquefying all other gases and collecting the leftover helium. It is used extensively in balloons and dirigibles and as an inert shielding gas for welding.


Symbol: Ho
Atomic Number: 67
Atomic Weight: 164.93032
Density: 8.781 g/cc
Melting Point: 1474 degrees C

Holmium metal is a malleable, fairly hard rare-earth metal and is stable in dry air. It is a member of the rare-earth series of metals. It oxidizes rapidly in moist air and at elevated temperatures. It will readily attract a magnet, in fact the metal has the highest magnetic moment of any naturally occurring element.


Symbol: H
Atomic Number: 1
Atomic Weight: 1.00794
Density: 0.0899 g/L
Melting Point: -259.34 degrees C
Boiling Point: -252.87 degrees C

Hydrogen is the first element in the periodic table and comprises most of the mass of the universe. It is the lightest gas by far and burns easily in air producing water. It has two isotopes, deuterium is a component of heavy water and tritium is a rarer form that is radioactive. It can exist as a liquid and solid but only at cryogenic temperatures just a few degrees above absolute zero.


Symbol: In
Atomic Number: 49
Atomic Weight: 114.818
Density: 7.31 g/cc
Melting Point: 157 degrees C

Indium is a very soft, shiny semi-precious silver-white metal that can be easily cut with a knife and impressed with a fingernail. It melts at a low temperature and is used for making low-melting fusible alloys, including one with gallium that is liquid at room temperature. The metal wets glass and is a good material for the backing of mirrors since it is very corrosion resistant and will keep its shine indefinitely. The metal is very useful as a sealant in many applications, including vacuum systems, cryogenic pumps, glass, ceramic and other metals. Its characteristic stickiness and softness allows it to adhere to and conform easily to almost any shape.


Symbol: I
Atomic Number: 53
Atomic Weight: 126.90447
Density: 4.94 g/cc
Melting Point: 114 degrees C (sublimes)

Iodine is a member of the halogen family along with fluorine, chlorine and bromine but is the least reactive. It is a purple/black solid with a somewhat metallic luster which sublimes (evaporates) slowly at room temperature into a purple gas with an irritating odor. It can be melted into a liquid but only under pressure. Iodine dissolves readily in alcohol to make tincture of iodine, and also dissolves in chloroform and carbon tetrachloride. Primarily used as an antiseptic and in photography.


Symbol: Ir
Atomic Number: 77
Atomic Weight: 192.217
Density: 22.42 g/cc
Melting Point: 2446 degrees C

Iridium is a very hard, brittle, brilliantly shiny metal with a slight yellowish color. The metal is very hard and brittle and is extremely dense. Osmium is credited as being the most dense metal but they are so close it can be disputed. Iridium is the most corrosion-resistant metal in existence, it resists attack by almost everything, including aqua regia, which will dissolve gold. The metal gets its name from the brilliantly colored compounds it forms. Iridium is a rare precious metal in the noble group of metals in the periodic table, along with platinum, palladium and others.


Symbol: Fe
Atomic Number: 26
Atomic Weight: 55.845
Density: 7.854 g/cc
Melting Point: 1538 degrees C

Pure Iron metal is not often encountered in commerce, but is usually alloyed with carbon or other metals. The pure metal is chemically reactive, and corrodes in moist air or at elevated temperatures. Iron metal is a hard, brittle lustrous metal which has important magnetic properties. The metal is the fourth most abundant element by weight that makes up the crust of the earth. Iron is a vital constituent of plant and animal life and works as an oxygen carrier in hemoglobin. It has four allotropic forms, known as alpha, beta, gamma, and omega, with transition points at 700, 928, and 1530C. The alpha form is magnetic, but when transformed into the beta form, the magnetism disappears.


Symbol: Kr
Atomic Number: 36
Atomic Weight: 83.8
Melting Point: -157 degrees C
Boiling Point: -153.22 degrees C

Krypton gas is inert and forms no stable compounds. However in the 1960's it was made to combine with fluorine making an unstable compound. It is much rarer than neon and argon and is extracted from atmospheric air by fractional distillation. It is used in lightbulbs and fluorescent tubes. In gas discharge tubes krypton gives off a whitish glow.


Symbol: La
Atomic Number: 57
Atomic Weight: 138.9055
Density: 6.166 g/cc
Melting Point: 918 degrees C

Lanthanum is a lustrous, malleable, ductile, fairly soft metal and is the first in the Lanthanide or rare-earth group of metals. It is one of the most chemically reactive of the series. It tarnishes rather quickly when exposed to air, developing a bluish/violet tinge within a few minutes after exposing the surface. A piece left in open air will eventually crumble to a pile of fluffy white oxide powder within a few days or weeks. The metal reacts slowly in cold water but more rapidly in hot water, and vigorously with acids. It is a major component of misch metal which is used for cigarette lighter flints. All of the rare earth metals are difficult to extract in their pure form. The process consists of extraction of salt mixtures from raw minerals with acids and hydroxides, then several purification and separation techniques including solvent extractions and ion exchange chromatography. Some of the metals in the series have been prepared in their pure form only since the 1950's.


Symbol: Pb
Atomic Number: 82
Atomic Weight: 207.2
Density: 11.35 g/cc
Melting Point: 327 degrees C

Lead has been known since ancient times and is occasionally found free in nature. Some of the alchemists from the middle ages spent their entire lives trying to turn lead into gold and along the way stumbled upon other important chemical discoveries. Lead is bluish-white in color and is very soft and malleable. It will slowly oxidize in air but otherwise is chemically inactive and corrosion-resistant, being resistant to most acids. The metal and its compounds are a cumulative poison. It is thought that the decline of the Roman Empire was caused in part by poisoning due to the use of lead pipes for plumbing and the use of lead plates for dinnerware. It is alloyed with other elements to make solders and type metal among others. Lead is used extensively in lead-acid batteries, corrosion protection and as radiation shielding.


Symbol: Li
Atomic Number: 3
Atomic Weight: 6.941
Density: 0.534 g/cc
Melting Point: 181 degrees C

Lithium is an alkali metal in the same family as sodium, potassium, rubidium and cesium. It is silvery-white but reacts with air very quickly causing the metal to darken. It is the lightest metal known and will float easily in oil. It reacts vigorously with water releasing hydrogen gas and forming nasty fumes of hydroxide but does not ignite the hydrogen like sodium does. It is not as soft as sodium but still can be cut with a knife. Lithium will burn in air when heated to its melting point and will also burn in pure nitrogen. Lithium compounds impart a crimson red color to a flame. The metal is produced electrolytically from the fused chloride mixed with KCl to lower the melting point of the salt electrolyte. Lithium imparts a crimson red color to a flame. The metal is used in several heat transfer applications which take advantage of the fact that it has the highest specific heat of any metal. The metal is used as an alloying agent with aluminum and magnesium. Lithium chloride is used as a desiccant and is used in air conditioning and industrial drying systems. Lithium compounds are used in batteries and the carbonate is used to treat manic depression disorder.


Symbol: Lu
Atomic Number: 71
Atomic Weight: 174.967
Density: 9.835 g/cc
Melting Point: 1663 degrees C

Lutetium is the last member of the rare earth series and was one of the last metals in the series to be isolated in its pure form. The metal is stable and relatively hard compared to the rest of the rare earth series. It is the most dense rare earth metal and has the highest melting point. The metal is extremely difficult to separate from other metals and thus it is one of the most expensive in the series.


Symbol: Mg
Atomic Number: 12
Atomic Weight: 24.305
Density: 1.738 g/cc
Melting Point: 650 degrees C

Magnesium is a silvery-white, hard, very light metal that is stable in air and is a member of the alkaline earth metal group containing beryllium, calcium, strontium and barium. Solid magnesium is stable in air and keeps its luster, but in powdered form is easily ignited creating a brilliant white flame. It reacts vigorously with acids and very slowly in hot water.


Symbol: Mn
Atomic Number: 25
Atomic Weight: 54.938049
Density: approx. 7.3 g/cc
Melting Point: 1246 degrees C

Manganese is a grayish, hard, brittle metal within the transition group of the periodic table. The metal is reactive, it is easily attacked by hydrochloric acid and will slowly react with hot water, releasing hydrogen. It has four allotropic forms which can cause its density and other properties to vary. The metal has few uses in the pure form but is widely used in steel alloys to remove oxygen and sulfur from steel, and to increase its toughness.


Symbol: Hg
Atomic Number: 80
Atomic Weight: 200.59
Density: 13.546 g/cc
Melting Point: -39 degrees C; Boiling Point 356 degrees C

Mercury is a common metal that exists as a liquid at room temperature. It is relatively unreactive, forming compounds only under certain conditions. It is resistant to acids except for hot nitric and sulfuric acids. The metal is extracted from ore by roasting cinnibar (mercuric sulfide). Mercury is used extensively in thermometers. Mercury is important as a liquid contact material for electric switches. It is used in mercury-vapor lamps that emit ultraviolet light which has many applications. It alloys with many metals forming amalgams, some of which are used in dentistry. Mercury is well-known as a poisonous heavy metal and can severely disrupt entire food chains in nature. The metal also poses a hazardous spillage situation, being very difficult to cleanup.


Symbol: Mo
Atomic Number: 42
Atomic Weight: 95.94
Density: 10.22 g/cc
Melting Point: 2623 degrees C

Molybdenum is a hard, heavy, grayish-colored metal that is very corrosion resistant. The metal's primary use is as an alloying agent to promote hardness in specialty steels used for high-speed cutting tools. It is very resistant to corrosion by acids and many other corrosive materials. Pure molybdenum thin sheet is used for x-ray tubes and electric furnaces due to its resistance to high temperatures.


Symbol: Nd
Atomic Number: 60
Atomic Weight: 144.24
Density: 6.8 g/cc
Melting Point: 1021 degrees C

Neodymium is a member of the Rare Earth family of metals and is a silvery, lustrous metal which is rather soft and malleable. It is relatively stable in air compared to the other rare-earth metals and reacts very slowly with water. It will keep a fresh metallic shine for several days in air before tarnishing. Neodymium is used in misch metal alloy for cigarette lighter flints and is used in high power neodymium-iron-boron magnets.


Symbol: Ne
Atomic Number: 10
Atomic Weight: 20.1797
Melting Point: -249 degrees C
Boiling Point: -246.08 degrees C

Neon gas is inert and forms no known compounds. It is obtained from air by fractional distillation of liquid air. Its primary use is in neon signs or discharge tubes, where it gives off a bright red glow.


Symbol: Ni
Atomic Number: 28
Atomic Weight: 58.6934
Density: 8.902 g/cc
Melting Point: 1455 degrees C

Nickel is a hard, corrosion-resistant magnetic metal that will keep its shine indefinitely. It is used for coins, plating, and a major component of stainless steel and other alloys such as Mu-metal, Monel and Alnico. The metal is frequently found in meteorites along with iron.


Symbol: Nb
Atomic Number: 41
Atomic Weight: 92.90638
Density: 8.57 g/cc
Melting Point: 2477 degrees C

Niobium is a shiny silver-white metal which is ductile and stable in air at room temperature. The metal will slowly develop a bluish tinge when exposed to air for a long time, and will readily oxidize at temperatures above 200C. Niobium is chemically similar to Tantalum and as a result these metals are difficult to separate from their ores. It has very good corrosion resistance to diluted acids and certain other corrosive chemicals however it is readily attacked by strong alkalis and hot concentrated acids.
Niobium is used extensively in alloys for corrosion resistance, and in alloys for nuclear reactors. It is also used in body piercing jewelry due to its bluish color. The metal was given it's current name in 1950, prior to that it was called Columbium, a name that industry sometimes still uses to identify the metal.


Symbol: N
Atomic Number: 7
Atomic Weight: 14.0067
Density: 1.25 g/L
Melting Point: -210 degrees C
Boiling Point: -195.79 degrees C

Nitrogen is the largest component of air and is a relatively inactive gaseous element. It forms several compounds that are explosive and is a major component in fertilizers. It will react with a few metals when heated but for the most part it is inert. Titanium powder will burn in nitrogen and lithium, calcium and magnesium will react forming nitrides.


Symbol: Os
Atomic Number: 76
Atomic Weight: 190.23
Density: 22.57 g/cc
Melting Point: 3033 degrees C

Osmium is a beautiful, brilliant shiny metal with a touch of blue and is the heaviest metal known. It is very hard and brittle causing it to be very difficult to machine or fabricate. The metal is stable in air and will keep its shine, but the powder and sponge forms will give off the tetroxide which is a liquid and is very toxic. Osmium is a rare precious metal in the noble group of metals in the periodic table, along with platinum, palladium and others. Its density is very slightly higher than Iridium if measured physically, but if calculated theoretically from the lattice structures Iridium turns out to be the heavier of the two. Its main use is for very hard alloys with other metals of the platinum group for fountain pen tips, phonograph needles, and electrical contacts.


Symbol: O
Atomic Number: 8
Atomic Weight: 15.9994
Density: 1.43 g/L
Melting Point: -219 degrees C
Boiling Point: -182.95 degrees C

Oxygen comprises about 21% of the atmosphere and is a relatively reactive gas. It will react with almost all metals and will support combustion. Liquid oxygen has a light blue color and is magnetic. It also exists as ozone which can be produced by discharging electrical sparks in air or pure oxygen. It has a foul smell and is toxic. On the ground it is considered a pollutant but in the upper atmosphere it shields Earth from damaging ultraviolet rays.


Symbol: Pd
Atomic Number: 46
Atomic Weight: 106.42
Density: 12.02 g/cc
Melting Point: 1555 degrees C

Palladium is a steel-white metal and is the least dense and has the lowest melting of the platinum group metals. It does not tarnish in air and is attacked by hot nitric and sulfuric acids. When annealed, it is soft and ductile. Cold working increases its strength and hardness. At room temperatures the finely divided metal is capable of absorbing up to 900 times its own volume of hydrogen. Palladium is found with platinum and other metals of the platinum group and is found associated with nickel-copper deposits. Finely divided palladium is a good catalyst and is used for hydrogenation and dehydrogenation reactions. White gold is an alloy of gold decolorized by the addition of palladium. Like gold, palladium is very malleable and can be beaten into a very thin foil. The metal is used in dentistry, watch making, and in making surgical instruments and electrical contacts.


Symbol: P
Atomic Number: 15
Atomic Weight: 30.973761
Density (yellow): 1.82 g/cc
Melting Point (yellow): 44 degrees C

Phosphorus was discovered by the alchemist Hennig Brand in 1669 by preparing it from urine. Phosphorus has three main allotropes: white, red and black. White phosphorus is poisonous and will eventually ignite spontaneously in air. For this reason, white phosphorus must be stored under water. It is colorless when pure and yellowish when impure. It is insoluble in water but very soluble in carbon disulfide. Red phosphorus is formed by heating white phosphorus. Red phosphorus is not poisonous and is not as dangerous and reactive as white phosphorus, being reactive only at higher temperatures. Red phosphorus is used in safety matches, fireworks, smoke bombs and pesticides. Black phosphorus is also formed by heating white phosphorus under high pressure with catalysts present. It is the least reactive allotrope of phosphorus. Phosphorus is an essential ingredient of life, in the form of phosphate fertilizers and also a constituent of bones. It is used in steel production and an alloying agent for phosphor bronze and finds uses in pyrotechnics and safety matches.


Symbol: Pt
Atomic Number: 78
Atomic Weight: 195.078
Density: 21.45 g/cc
Melting Point: 1768 degrees C

Platinum is a silvery-white precious metal and is very malleable and ductile. The metal does not oxidize at any temperature and is not attacked by acids, except for aqua regia. It is corroded by halogens, cyanides, sulfur and alkalis. Platinum occurs natively along with other members of the precious metals group and with nickel-bearing ores. The metal is extensively used in jewelry, wire, and crucibles for laboratory use. Like palladium, platinum absorbs large volumes of hydrogen, retaining it at ordinary temperatures but giving it up when heated. In the finely divided state platinum is an excellent catalyst used in catalytic converters for cars and for cracking petroleum products. Platinum anodes are extensively used in cathodic protection systems for large ships and ocean-going vessels, pipelines, steel piers, etc.


Symbol: K
Atomic Number: 19
Atomic Weight: 39.0983
Density: 0.862 g/cc
Melting Point: 64 degrees C

Potassium is a very soft, silver-white metal that reacts explosively with water, releasing hydrogen and igniting it. Potassium compounds impart a deep purple color to a flame. It quickly oxidizes in air forming various oxides and hydroxides, thus the need to keep it stored in mineral oil or under argon. The metal forms an alloy with sodium (NaK) that is liquid at room temperature. The alloy is used under tightly controlled conditions in heat exchangers due to its high heat capacity. Potassium is an essential nutrient for plants and animals. Elemental potassium metal was discovered in 1807 by Humphry Davy who electrolyzed potash with electric current drawn from a large battery stack. Sodium metal and several other alkali and alkaline earth metals were discovered by Davy with the same process.


Symbol: Pr
Atomic Number: 59
Atomic Weight: 140.90765
Density: 6.772 g/cc
Melting Point: 931 degrees C

Praseodymium is a member of the Rare Earth family of metals and is a silvery, lustrous metal which is rather soft and malleable. It is similar to other rare-earth metals in its reactivity, reacting slowly with water and tarnishing in air forming a green oxide. It can be handled for a short period time by hand in air but for long term storage it must be kept in mineral oil or an inert atmosphere. The metal will spark if scratched quickly with a knife, though not as readily as Cerium.


Symbol: Re
Atomic Number: 75
Atomic Weight: 186.207
Density: 21.02 g/cc
Melting Point: 3186 degrees C

Rhenium was not discovered until 1925 and is one of the last naturally occurring elements to be discovered. Rhenium has the second highest melting point of any metal, at 3,180 C surpassed only by Tungsten. It is very dense. Rhenium is ductile over a much wider temperature range than most or all metals. The metal can be thermally cycled thousands of times with no ill effects. Rhenium is produced mainly as a by-product of the copper mining industry. The metal ignites at about 400 C and burns violently creating rhenium trioxide. Rhenium does not occur free in nature and is widely dispersed in the earth's crust. Annealed rhenium is very ductile, and can be bent, coiled, or rolled. Rhenium is widely used as filaments for mass spectrographs and ion gauges. Rhenium is also used as an electrical contact material because it has good wear resistance and withstands arc corrosion. Thermocouples made of Re-W are used for measuring temperatures up to 2200C.


Symbol: Rh
Atomic Number: 45
Atomic Weight: 102.9055
Density: 12.41 g/cc
Melting Point: 1964 degrees C

Rhodium metal is a hard, silvery white with a tint that resembles silver. The metal occurs natively with other members of the platinum group. Upon heating to red-hot temperatures it turns to the oxide and at higher temperatures turns back to the element. It is a major component of industrial catalytic systems. Rhodium occurs in nature mixed with metals in the precious metal group, such as rhodium, palladium, gold, platinum and iridium and is extracted either as a by-product or as the main product. Rhodium's primary use is as an alloying agent to harden platinum and palladium for use in furnace windings, thermocoupling elements, electrodes for aircraft spark plugs, and laboratory crucibles. It is useful as an electrical contact material as it has a low electrical resistance, a low and stable contact resistance, and is highly resistant to corrosion. Plated rhodium is exceptionally hard and is used for optical instruments and jewelry.


Symbol: Rb
Atomic Number: 37
Atomic Weight: 85.4678
Density: 1.532 g/cc
Melting Point: 39 degrees C

Rubidium is the second most reactive metal in the periodic table behind cesium and will catch fire when exposed to air. It melts at temperatures somewhat above room temperature. It will react explosively with water releasing and igniting hydrogen.


Symbol: Ru
Atomic Number: 44
Atomic Weight: 101.07
Density: 12.44 g/cc
Melting Point: 2334 degrees C

Ruthenium is a hard, silvery-white metal. It does not tarnish at room temperatures, but oxidizes in air at about 800C. The metal is not attacked by hot or cold acids or aqua regia but does react with hydroxides and halogens. Ruthenium occurs in nature mixed with metals in the precious metal group, such as rhodium, palladium, gold, platinum and iridium and is extracted either as a by-product or as the main product. The metal is used as a catalyst in industrial applications.


Symbol: Sm
Atomic Number: 62
Atomic Weight: 150.36
Density: 7.536 g/cc
Melting Point: 1074 degrees C

Samarium is a member of the rare earth series of metals and is a lustrous silvery crystalline metal and is reasonably stable in air. It reacts slowly in water and rapidly in acids. It is used in samarium-cobalt magnets that function well at high temperatures. The metal is very slightly magnetic.


Symbol: Sc
Atomic Number: 21
Atomic Weight: 44.9559
Density: 2.99 g/cc
Melting Point: 1541 degrees C

Scandium is a soft, lustrous silver-white metal. Since the properties of Scandium resemble the rare earth metals, it is sometimes regarded as belonging to that group. It reacts rapidly with acids. It is one of the scarcest elements of the rare earth group and is apparently much more abundant in the sun and stars than on earth. Recent use has been as part of an alloy with aluminum for bicycle frames and also an all-aluminum alloy handgun. The scandium serves to strengthen the aluminum in these applications.


Symbol: Se
Atomic Number: 34
Atomic Weight: 78.96
Density: 4.79 g/cc
Melting Point: 221 degrees C

Selenium is a semi-metallic element and falls in the same periodic table group as sulfur and tellurium. It resembles both in its chemical and physical properties. Selenium can appear in several allotropic forms, including red powder, red crystal, and a gray crystalline metallic form which is the most stable. Selenium is an essential trace element in the animal and human diet. The electrical conductivity of selenium increases with the amount of light it is exposed to. As a result it is extensively used in electronic devices such as photoelectric cells. It is also used for imparting orange or red colors to glass, as well as decolorizing glass.

Selenium (Red):

Symbol: Se
Atomic Number: 34
Atomic Weight: 78.96
Density: 4.79 g/cc
Melting Point: 221 degrees C

Red selenium is an allotrope of the typical grey/black selenium. Red selenium can be prepared by precipitation from selenium solution and by condensation of vapor. It is very sensitive to heat - at temperatures about 45 to 50 degrees C it will slowly revert to the grey form and stay that way. Higher temperatures accelerate the conversion. For this reason it is shipped in a cold-pack with priority mail or faster service to minimize or eliminate the chance that it would be exposed to warm or high temperatures and thus lose its red color.


Symbol: Si
Atomic Number: 14
Atomic Weight: 28.0855
Density: 2.33 g/cc
Melting Point: 1414 degrees C

Silicon is the most common solid element in the earth's crust, making up over 25% of the earth's crust by weight. The crystalline form of silicon has a gray color and a metallic luster. Another allotrope of silicon appears as amorphous brown powder. Silicon is rather inactive, being attacked only by dilute alkali and hydrofluoric acid. Other acids do not react with silicon. Pure elemental silicon is largely transparent to infrared light. It is not found free in nature, its main compounds being silicon dioxide (sand, quartz, many others) and silicates. Elemental silicon is a semiconductor and is mainly used as a substrate for semiconductor devices such as integrated circuits, transistors, solar cells and many others. The pure element is doped with small amounts of other elements such as phosphorus, arsenic, gallium, germanium and boron to create the desired properties of semiconductor devices. Silicon is also used as an alloy ingredient in steel. Many compounds of silicon are useful, such as silica (sand) for glass, concrete and brick making, silicon carbide as an abrasive, and silicones.


Symbol: Ag
Atomic Number: 47
Atomic Weight: 107.8682
Density: 10.5 g/cc
Melting Point: 962 degrees C

Silver has been known since ancient times and frequently is found free in nature. Silver is mined and extracted from ores and is also recovered during electrolytic refining of copper. Silver has a brilliant metallic luster and can take a very high polish. It is the most conductive of all metals for both heat and electricity. It will tarnish in air that contains sulfur but is otherwise stable in air and generally unreactive. The metal is extremely malleable and ductile. Silver has extensive uses in jewelry, electrical contacts, dental alloys, solder alloys and photography. The metal itself is non-toxic but most of its salts are poisonous.


Symbol: Na
Atomic Number: 11
Atomic Weight: 22.98977
Density: 0.971 g/cc
Melting Point: 98 degrees C

Sodium is a very soft, silver-white metal that can easily be cut with a knife. It is an alkali metal along with lithium, potassium, rubidium and cesium. The metal reacts violently with water, releasing hydrogen and usually igniting it. Throwing it in water sometimes causes liquid sodium to be expelled from the water due to the reaction and sprays around a wide area. It quickly reacts with air, requiring it to be stored in mineral oil or under argon. The pure metal is used as a heat-transfer liquid due to its high heat capacity and in sodium-vapor lamps. The metal is usually extracted in a Downs cell by electrolyzing molten sodium chloride. Sodium compounds are extensively used, sodium chloride as table salt, soap, bicarbonate of soda, caustic soda (lye).


Symbol: Sr
Atomic Number: 38
Atomic Weight: 87.62
Density: 2.54 g/cc
Melting Point: 777 degrees C

Strontium metal is a silvery-white metal similar to Calcium metal but more reactive and softer. It belongs to the alkali metal group, along with beryllium, magnesium, calcium and barium. Freshly cut strontium has a silvery appearance, but rapidly turns a yellowish white color with the formation of the oxide. It will react vigorously with water releasing hydrogen. Powdered or finely divided strontium will ignite spontaneously in air. The pure metal has few uses, but strontium salts are used in fireworks due to the brilliant red color that they impart to flame.


Symbol: S
Atomic Number: 16
Atomic Weight: 32.065
Density: 2.079 g/cc
Melting Point: 119 degrees C

Sulfur is a odorless yellow solid non-metallic element in the same periodic table group as selenium and tellurium. The solid cast form shows a crystalline array usually in the rhombic form, which is the most common. Other forms are monoclinic and polymeric, each of which has different properties and appearance and can exist together in equilibrium.
The rhombic and monoclinic forms occur as a result of sulfur atoms forming an 8-atom molecule. The rhombic form is stable below 95 degrees C, above that and to the melting point of 118C, the monoclinic structure is dominant. Monoclinic sulfur is created by cooling sulfur slowly. Above 160C the 8-atom molecule breaks apart and the atoms form long polymer chains. This is apparent during melting and heating past 160C, the liquid actually appears to gel and become more viscous. The polymeric form is insoluble in many solvents that normally dissolve the other forms. When hot molten sulfur is cooled suddenly (as by pouring it into cold water), it forms a soft, sticky, elastic, noncrystalline mass called amorphous, or plastic, sulfur.
It is chemically reactive and combines with almost all other elements. Uses are extensive, in matches, gunpowder, fireworks, batteries, vulcanization of rubber, medicines and pesticides.


Symbol: Ta
Atomic Number: 73
Atomic Weight: 180.9479
Density: 16.654 g/cc
Melting Point: 3017 degrees C

Tantalum is an extremely hard, durable gray-colored metal which has excellent corrosion resistance. With the right lighting and surface texture Tantalum shows a definite pinkish tinge to its metallic color. The metal has many uses including electrolytic capacitors, in alloys to improve properties, and surgical and dental tools. It is a good crucible material due to its resistance to corrosive materials. Tantalum has an extremely high melting point, exceeded only by osmium, rhenium and tungsten, and is also very dense.


Symbol: Te
Atomic Number: 52
Atomic Weight: 127.6
Density: 6.24 g/cc
Melting Point: 450 degrees C

Tellurium is a relatively rare element, in the same family as oxygen, sulfur and selenium. When crystalline, tellurium is silvery-white and when it is in its pure state it has a metallic luster. It is brittle and easily pulverized. Tellurium burns in air at elevated temperatures and imparts a greenish-blue flame, forming tellurium dioxide as a result. When in its molten state, tellurium is corrosive to copper, iron, and stainless steel. It is mostly used in alloys with other metals. Tellurium and its compounds should be considered to be toxic and need to be handled with care.


Symbol: Tb
Atomic Number: 65
Atomic Weight: 158.9253
Density: 8.234 g/cc
Melting Point: 1356 degrees C

Terbium is a silvery-grey lustrous metal of the rare-earth series and is relatively stable in air. The metal is one of the scarcest of the entire rare-earth series.


Symbol: Tl
Atomic Number: 81
Atomic Weight: 204.3833
Density: 11.85 g/cc
Melting Point: 304 degrees C

Thallium is a very soft silvery metal resembling lead. Like lead it can be cut with a knife. The metal will tarnish quickly in air and would eventually turn into a pile of black powder if left exposed. As a result is usually stored under water. The metal and its compounds are very toxic and at one time the sulfide/sulfate was used as rat poison before being banned for household use. Touching the metal must be avoided as absorption can occur. The metal was named after the green spectral line that was exhibited when it was discovered spectroscopically in 1861. Soon afterward the metal itself was isolated for the first time. Low-melting glasses are one use of thallium which will lower the melting point of glass significantly when mixed with glass along with sulfur or selenium.


Symbol: Th
Atomic Number: 90
Atomic Weight: 232.0381
Density: 11.72 g/cc
Melting Point: 1750 degrees C

Thorium is a silvery-white radioactive metal that is relatively common in the earth's crust. it is shiny and will keep its appearance for a long time before slowly tarnishing in air. Powdered thorium is pyrophoric and its turnings will ignite when heated. Much of the internal heat of the earth is believed to originate from the heat generated by decay of uranium and thorium. Thorium was used in the Welsbach mantle which was used for portable gas lights. The mantles, which contain thorium oxide, glow brilliantly when exposed to a gas flame.


Symbol: Tm
Atomic Number: 69
Atomic Weight: 168.93421
Density: 9.314 g/cc
Melting Point: 1545 degrees C

Thulium metal is one of the least abundant of the rare earth elements being about as scarce as Lutetium. The metal has a bright silvery luster. It is stable in air and does not oxidize as readily as some of the other rare-earth metals.


Symbol: Sn
Atomic Number: 50
Atomic Weight: 118.71
Density: 7.31 g/cc
Melting Point: 232 degrees C

Tin is a silver-white, lustrous, soft, very malleable and ductile metal. It emits the characteristic tin cry when bent due to the heavy crystalline structure, which breaks upon bending creating the sound. At 13 degrees C it will slowly crumble to its other allotrope, gray amorphous powder. The process is reversible. Tin is stable in air and will keep its shine indefinitely, but the powder when heated will form the oxide. Tin is attacked by concentrated HCl, aqua regia and strong alkalis. Known since ancient times, Tin is mainly used as a plating or coating for steel to prevent corrosion. It is also extensively used in solder, bronze, pewter, type metal and fusible alloys. Most window glass is manufactured by floating molten glass on molten tin to produce a flat surface.


Symbol: Ti
Atomic Number: 22
Atomic Weight: 47.867
Density: 4.55 g/cc
Melting Point: 1668 degrees C

Titanium is a lustrous, lightweight, strong metal with excellent corrosion resistance. It is the ninth most abundant element in the earth's crust. Titanium is resistant to most acids and corrosive environments, however the powder form will burn brilliantly in air, and is the only known substance to burn in nitrogen. The main process for extracting titanium metal is by reducing titanium tetrachloride (a liquid at room temperature) with magnesium. Titanium is as strong as steel, but about half the weight. As a result the metal is extensively used in the aerospace industry, usually as the main ingredient in an alloy. The dioxide is a white powder and is extensively used for the white base in paint. Titanium is physiologically inert, making it a good material to create artificial hips and other biological implants.


Symbol: W
Atomic Number: 74
Atomic Weight: 183.84
Density: 19.3 g/cc
Melting Point: 3422 degrees C

Tungsten is an extremely hard, dense, usually brittle, steel-gray metal. It has the distinction of being the metal with the highest melting point known. In very pure form the metal can be malleable and ductile but small levels of impurities greatly affect these properties. The metal is extensively used for lightbulb filaments and windings for high-temperature furnaces. Alloyed with certain other metals, tungsten finds wide usage for making high-speed tool steels.


Symbol: U
Atomic Number: 92
Atomic Weight: 238.02891
Density: 19.05 g/cc
Melting Point: 1135 degrees C

Uranium is a silvery-white shiny radioactive metal that is relatively common in the earth's crust. It is hard, malleable and ductile and can take a high polish. It is about as dense as Tungsten. The metal tarnishes slowly in air creating a blue then black coating of oxide and is dissolved by acids. In powder form it is pyrophoric and its dust is very toxic when inhaled. Uranium has 16 isotopes which are all radioactive. The isotopes of most interest are 235 and 238. U-2235 is the fissionable isotope that can be used for nuclear power or nuclear weapons. U-238 is by far the most common isotope comprising over 99% of naturally occurring uranium and cannot be used directly for nuclear fission. Hence U-238 by itself is called depleted uranium when the fissionable U-235 is removed. The enrichment process of uranium involves the use of centrifuges to increase the concentration of U-235 in uranium to levels that enable it for use in nuclear reactions. Much of the internal heat of the earth is believed to originate from the heat generated by decay of uranium and thorium. Uranium compounds impart a yellow-green fluorescent color to glass and was used extensively to create Uranium or Vaseline glass. Depleted uranium is used as counterweights in aircraft and elevators and in high-density ammunition.


Symbol: V
Atomic Number: 23
Atomic Weight: 50.9415
Density: 6.11g/cc
Melting Point: 1910 degrees C

Vanadium is a silvery-white, hard, malleable tough metal resembling chromium. It is used extensively in steel alloys for excellent corrosion resistance. Its compounds are brilliantly colored and can show oxidation states of +2, +3, +4 or +5.


Symbol: Xe
Atomic Number: 54
Atomic Weight: 131.293
Melting Point: -112 degrees C
Boiling Point: -108.12 degrees C

Xenon gas is by far the rarest of the noble gases. It was thought to be inert until compounds were made, particularly with fluorine that are stable at room temperature. Xenon difluoride is a white crystalline solid at room temperature. Like the other noble gases xenon is obtained from the fractional distillation of liquid air. It is used in lightbulbs and gives off a white/bluish color in discharge tubes.


Symbol: Yb
Atomic Number: 70
Atomic Weight: 173.04
Density: 6.972 g/cc
Melting Point: 819 degrees C

Ytterbium metal is a member of the Rare Earth series and has a beautiful silvery lustrous appearance. The metal is relatively soft, malleable and ductile. While the element is fairly stable in air, it should be kept in closed containers to protect it from air and moisture. It reacts very slowly with water and rapidly with acids. Ytterbium has three allotropic forms with transformation points at -13 degrees C and 795 degrees C. The metal is a stable electrical conductor under normal conditions but becomes a semiconductor when the pressure is increased to about 16,000 atm.


Symbol: Y
Atomic Number: 39
Atomic Weight: 88.90585
Density: 4.457 g/cc
Melting Point: 1522 degrees C

Yttrium is a silvery, lustrous rare earth metal that is relatively stable in air. Its properties are similar to the rare earth series of metals. Shavings of the metal can ignite in air at 400 C and it reacts very slowly with water, rapidly with acids. Lunar rock samples from the Apollo program have a relatively high yttrium content. Yttrium metal has the highest thermo-dynamic affinity for oxygen of any element.


Symbol: Zn
Atomic Number: 30
Atomic Weight: 65.39
Density: 7.133 g/cc
Melting Point: 420 degrees C

Zinc is a common base metal and has been known since ancient times. The metal has a slight bluish metallic color. It is fairly brittle at ordinary temperatures but becomes malleable at higher temperatures. The metal burns in air at high red heat above its melting point giving off white oxide fumes. It reacts readily with mineral acids. Zinc has many uses in industry ranging from die castings to corrosion protection and as a key ingredient in many alloys including brass. Corrosion protection is achieved by galvanization, or by electroplating or dipping a metal into molten zinc, or by use of a zinc bar as a sacrificial anode.


Symbol: Zr
Atomic Number: 40
Atomic Weight: 91.224
Density: 6.5063 g/cc
Melting Point: 1855 degrees C

Zirconium is a lustrous, strong, hard metallic element obtained primarily from the mineral zircon. It is used as a refractory metal in crucibles, refractory bricks, blocks and in the glazes and colors for ceramic products. Since it does not easily absorb neutrons, zirconium is widely used in nuclear reactors. The metal is difficult to purify since it is usually extracted from ores with a small percentage of hafnium content, which is difficult to separate from zirconium due to very similar chemical properties. Zirconium has widely varying degrees of combustibility. In solid massive form, it can withstand very high temperatures, explaining its use in crucibles and other refractory metal applications. In powder form however it can ignite spontaneously in air, especially with moisture present. It will also burn in carbon dioxide and nitrogen at elevated temperatures. Zirconium scrap stored with finely divided zirconium metal has been known to spontaneously ignite, causing fires with very high temperatures.

Niobium Pentachloride:

Formula: NbCl5
Density: 2.75 g/cc
Melting Point: 205 degrees C
Boiling point: 247 degrees C

Niobium Pentachloride is a yellow crystalline solid that is very sensitive to air and moisture. It is a fascinating example of the colorful compounds that niobium and other transition metals can form. Upon exposure to moisture or liquid water, this compound will form hydrochloric acid and will be reduced to a lower-valence chloride and/or the oxide. It needs to be kept in this sealed glass ampoule in order to protect its color and crystalline appearance.

Tungsten Hexachloride:

Formula: WCl6
Density: 3.52 g/cc
Melting Point: 275 degrees C
Boiling point: 346 degrees C

Tungsten Hexachloride is a dark blue/purple crystalline solid that is very sensitive to air and moisture. Tungsten can form some fascinating and unusual colorful compounds like this example. Upon exposure to moisture or liquid water, this compound will form hydrochloric acid and will be reduced to a lower-valence chloride and/or the oxide. It needs to be kept in this sealed glass ampoule in order to protect its color and crystalline appearance.

Yttrium Trichloride:

Formula: YCl3
Density: 2.61 g/cc
Melting Point: 721 degrees C
Boiling point: 1510 degrees C

Yttrium Trichloride is a pure white powder in the anhydrous form. It is very hygroscopic and will absorb large amounts of moisture. Left in open, moist air it will absorb moisture until it eventually becomes a clear liquid solution of the chloride. Like many other higher-valence chlorides this compound cannot be made in the anhydrous form by heating the hydrated chloride, it will hydrolyze instead and give off fumes of HCl gas and leave behind the oxide or oxychloride. It needs to be kept in this sealed glass ampoule in order to protect its color and appearance.

Tin Tetrachloride:

Formula: SnCl4
Density: 2.26 g/cc
Melting Point: -33 degrees C
Boiling point: 114 degrees C

Tin Tetrachloride is a clear liquid at room temperature and is an interesting demonstration of a liquid metallic compound. The chloride is made by direct combination of the elements. It fumes when exposed to air and will react with water and moisture creating white tin oxide and HCl gas. It needs to be kept in this sealed glass ampoule in order to protect its liquid state and appearance.

Silicon Tetrachloride:

Formula: SiCl4
Density: 1.483 g/cc
Melting Point: -70 degrees C
Boiling point: 57.6 degrees C

Silicon Tetrachloride is a clear volatile liquid at room temperature. The chloride is made by direct combination of the elements. It fumes when exposed to air and will react with water and moisture creating a gel of silicon dioxide and giving off HCl gas. The chloride finds use as a process step in the purification of silicon. It needs to be kept in this sealed glass ampoule in order to protect its liquid state and appearance.

Phosphorus Pentachloride:

Formula: PCl5
Density: 3.52 g/cc
Melting Point: 166.8 degrees C (sublimes)
Boiling point: n/a

Phosphorus Pentachloride is a crystalline powder with a yellow/green tinge of color. It is sensitive to moisture and will react vigorously with water. It sublimes at 166.8 degrees C and at temperatures above that, will start to dissociate into phosphorus trichloride (a liquid at room temperature) and chlorine gas. That reaction is reversible. It needs to be kept in this sealed glass ampoule in order to protect its color and crystalline appearance.

Germanium Tetrachloride:

Formula: GeCl4
Density: 1.874 g/cc
Melting Point: -49.5 degrees C
Boiling point: 83.1 degrees C

Germanium Tetrachloride is a clear volatile liquid at room temperature. It fumes when exposed to air and will react with water and moisture creating germanium dioxide and giving off HCl gas. It is used as a dopant in the manufacture of optical fiber and as an intermediate step in the purification of germanium metal. It needs to be kept in this sealed glass ampoule in order to protect its liquid state and appearance.

Calcium Fluoride:

Formula: CaF2
Density: 3.18 g/cc
Melting Point: 1418 degrees C
Boiling point: 2533 degrees C

Calcium Fluoride is a stable, white crystalline compound. It occurs in fluorite or fluorspar type minerals. The compound is used as a flux in aluminum production and finds several other uses in industry.

Copyright Metallium, Inc.