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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Unusual | Interesting Facts About ELEMENTS

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Elements are simple substances which cannot be decomposed by chemical means. They are made up of atoms which are alike in their peripheral electronic configurations, their chemical properties, and in the number of protons in their nuclei. They may differ in the number of neutrons in their nuclei.
Below is the first (from Actinium to Germanium) of the three parts of unusual and interesting facts about elements. Have fun on the listed interesting and unusual facts about elements!

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Actinium
A radioactive element found in uranium ores, used in equilibrium with its decay products as a source of alpha rays.
The name originates from the Greek word 'aktinos' meaning ray or beam.

Associated Uses of the element Actinium
A neutron source

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Aluminum
A silvery-white, ductile metallic element, the most abundant in the earth's crust but found only in combination, chiefly in bauxite. Having good conductive and thermal properties, it is used to form many hard, light, corrosion-resistant alloys.
The name originates from the Latin word 'alumen'

Associated Uses of Aluminum
Soda cans
Aluminium recycling
Statues including Eros in Piccadilly Circus in London
Abrasive as an oxide

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Americium
A radioactive metallic element produced by bombardment of plutonium with high-energy neutrons.
Named in honour of America

Common Uses of Americium
Smoke detectors

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Antimony
A metallic element having four allotropic forms, the most common of which is a hard, extremely brittle, lustrous, silver-white, crystalline material. It is used in a wide variety of alloys, especially with lead in battery plates, and in the manufacture of flame-proofing compounds, paint, semiconductor devices, and ceramic products.
The name originates from the Greek words anti and monos meaning "opposed to solitude".

Common Uses of Antimony
Flame-proofing compounds
Ceramic products
Antimony trioxide and dithiocarbamate

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Argon
A colorless, odorless, inert gaseous element constituting approximately one percent of Earth's atmosphere, from which it is commercially obtained by fractionation for use in electric light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, and radio vacuum tubes and as an inert gas shield in arc welding.
The name originates from the Greek word 'argos' meaning inactive.

Common Uses of Argon
Electric light bulbs
Fluorescent tubes

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Arsenic
A highly poisonous metallic element having three allotropic forms, yellow, black, and gray, of which the brittle, crystalline gray is the most common. Arsenic and its compounds are used in insecticides, weed killers, solid-state doping agents, and various alloys.
The name originates from Greek word 'arsenikos'.

Common Uses of Arsenic
Weed killers
Various alloys
Medical Treatments

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Astatine
A highly unstable radioactive element, the heaviest of the halogen series, that resembles iodine in solution.
The name originates from the Greek word 'astatos' meaning unstable.

Common Uses of Astatine
None. Astatine is studied by nuclear scientists. Its high radioactivity requires special handling techniques and precautions. Its toxicity is similar to that of iodine.

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Barium
A soft, silvery-white alkaline-earth metal, used to deoxidize copper and in various alloys.
The name originates from the Greek word 'barys' meaning heavy. The oxide was at first called barote, by Guyton de Morveau, which was changed by Antoine Lavoisier to baryta, which was modified to "barium".

Common Uses of Barium
Vacuum tubes
Fluorescent lamps
Rat poison
Medical Uses - Given orally as a barium meal or as an enema (enima) , to increase the contrast of medical X-rays of the digestive system
Barium sulfate, hydroxide octahydrate, nitrate, carbonate

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Beryllium
A high-melting, lightweight, corrosion-resistant, rigid, steel-gray metallic element used as an aerospace structural material, as a moderator and reflector in nuclear reactors, and in a copper alloy used for springs, electrical contacts, and non-sparking tools.
The name originates from the Greek word beryllos meaning beryl.

Common Uses of Beryllium
Electric light bulbs
Fluorescent tubes

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Bismuth
A white, crystalline, brittle, highly diamagnetic metallic element used in alloys to form sharp castings for objects sensitive to high temperatures and in various low-melting alloys for fire-safety devices. The most common uses of Interesting are in Pharmaceuticals, Fuses, Fire detection, Magnets and Bismuth oxychloride.
The name originates from the German word 'wissmuth' meaning white mass and the Latin word bisemutum.

Common Uses of Bismuth
Fire detection
Bismuth oxychloride

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Bohrium
A short-lived radioactive element that is artificially produced.
The name originates in honour of Niels Bohr the Danish physicist . Other Names: Unnilseptium (Uns) and Nielsbohrium (Ns)

Common Uses of Bohrium
No known uses

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Boron
A soft, brown, amorphous or crystalline nonmetallic element, extracted chiefly from kernite and borax and used in flares, propellant mixtures, nuclear reactor control elements, abrasives, and hard metallic alloys. The most common uses of Boron are in heat resistant alloys.
The name originates from a combination of words taken from borax and carbon

Common Uses of Boron
Heat resistant alloys

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Bromine
A heavy, volatile, corrosive, reddish-brown, nonmetallic liquid element, having a highly irritating vapor. It is used in producing gasoline antiknock mixtures, fumigants, dyes, and photographic chemicals. The most common uses of Bromine are in Gasoline anti-knock mixtures, Fumigants, Poisons, Dyes, Photographic chemicals, Medicines and Brominated vegetable oil.
The name originates from the Greek word 'Bromos' meaning "stench"

Common Uses of Bromine
Gasoline antiknock mixtures
Photographic chemicals
Brominated vegetable oil

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Cadmium
A soft, bluish-white metallic element occurring primarily in zinc, copper, and lead ores, that is easily cut with a knife and is used in low-friction, fatigue-resistant alloys, solders, dental amalgams, nickel-cadmium storage batteries, nuclear reactor shields, and in rustproof electroplating. The most common uses of Cadmium are in Batteries - Nickel Cadmium, Pigments, Coating and plating, Barrier to control nuclear fission, Televisions and Nickel cadmium batteries.
The name originates from the Greek word kadmeia and from the Latin word cadmia

Common Uses of Cadmium
Batteries - Nickel Cadmium
Coatings and platings
Barrier to control nuclear fission
Nickel cadmium batteries

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Cesium
A soft, silvery-white ductile metal, liquid at room temperature, the most electropositive and alkaline of the elements, used in photoelectric cells and to catalyze hydrogenation of some organic compounds. The most common uses of Cesium are in Atomic clocks, Removes air traces in vacuum tubes, Ion propulsion systems, Medical, Photoelectric cells, Cesium vapor and the Magnetometer.
The word Caesium originates from the Latin word 'caesius' which means "sky blue" from the bright blue lines in its spectrum.

Common Uses of Cesium
Atomic clocks
Removes air traces in vacuum tubes
Ion propulsion systems
Photoelectric cells
Cesium vapor

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Calcium
A silvery, moderately hard metallic element that constitutes approximately 3.5% of the earth's crust and is a basic component of most animals and plants. It occurs naturally in limestone, gypsum, and fluorite, and its compounds are used to make plaster, quicklime, Portland cement, and metallurgic and electronic materials. The most common uses of Calcium are in Dairy products ( deficiency can affect bone and teeth formation - Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium ), Reducing agent and an Alloying agent used in the production of alloys.
Originates from the latin word 'calcis' meaning lime.

Common Uses of Calcium
Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium. Deficiency can affect bone and teeth formation
Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium
Reducing agent
Alloying agent used in the production of alloys
Coral calcium , calcium carbonate, chloride, citrate, carbide, hydroxide

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Californium
A synthetic element produced in trace quantities by helium isotope bombardment of curium. All isotopes are radioactive, chiefly by emission of alpha particles. The most common uses of Californium are in Neutron moisture gauges and Portable neutron source in gold and silver prospecting.
Named in honour of the U.S. state of California and for the University of California, Berkeley, USA.

Common Uses of Californium
Neutron moisture gauges
Portable neutron source in gold and silver prospecting

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Carbon
A naturally abundant non-metallic element that occurs in many inorganic and in all organic compounds, exists freely as graphite and diamond and as a constituent of coal, limestone, and petroleum, and is capable of chemical self-bonding to form an enormous number of chemically, biologically, and commercially important molecules. One of the hardest (diamond) substances known to man. The most common uses of Carbon are in Fossil fuels - methane gas, Diamonds, Crude oil (petroleum), Radiocarbon dating, Smoke detectors, Graphite carbon used as charcoal for cooking & artwork, Gasoline, Kerosene, Carbon monoxide - dioxide and Carbon Fiber.
The name originates from the Latin word carbo meaning "charcoal"

Common Uses of Carbon
Fossil fuels - methane gas
Crude oil (petroleum)
Radiocarbon dating
Smoke detectors
Graphite carbon used as charcoal for cooking & artwork
Carbon monoxide - dioxide
Carbon Fiber

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Cerium
A lustrous, iron-gray, malleable metallic rare-earth element that occurs chiefly in the minerals monazite and bastnaesite, exists in four allotropic states, is a constituent of lighter flint alloys, and is used in various metallurgical and nuclear applications. The most common uses of Cerium are in Making aluminium alloys, Cigarette lighters, Incandescent gas mantles, Petroleum refining and Arc lighting.
The name originates from the asteroid Ceres after which it was named.

Common Uses of Cerium
Making aluminium alloys
Cigarette lighters
Incandescent gas mantles
Petroleum refining
Arc lighting

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Chlorine
A highly irritating, greenish-yellow gaseous halogen, capable of combining with nearly all other elements, produced principally by electrolysis of sodium chloride and used widely to purify water, as a disinfectant and bleaching agent, and in the manufacture of many important compounds including chloroform and carbon tetrachloride. The most common uses of Chlorine are in Bleaches, Mustard gas, Water purification, Production of chlorates, Paper production, Antiseptic, Insecticides, Paint, Plastics and Medicines.
The name originates from the Greek word 'khloros' meaning green referring to the color of the gas.

Common Uses of Chlorine
Mustard gas
Water purification
Production of chlorates
Paper production
Hypochlorous acid
Chlorine dioxide

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Chromium
A lustrous, hard, steel-gray metallic element, resistant to tarnish and corrosion and found primarily in chromite. It is used in the hardening of steel alloys and the production of stainless steels, in corrosion-resistant decorative platings, and as a pigment in glass. The most common uses of Chromium are in Dyes and paints, Stainless steel, Metallurgy, Chrome plating, Green rouge metal polish and Magnetic tape.
The name originates from the Greek word chroma meaning color

Common Uses of Chromium
Dyes and paints
Stainless steel
Chrome plating
Green rouge metal polish
Magnetic tape
Hexavalent chromium
Chromium trioxide

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Cobalt
A hard, brittle metallic element, found associated with nickel, silver, lead, copper, and iron ores and resembling nickel and iron in appearance. It is used chiefly for magnetic alloys, high-temperature alloys, and in the form of its salts for blue glass and ceramic pigments. The most common uses of Cobalt are in Magnets, Ceramics, Magnetic alloys, Cobalt boats, Glassware, Catalysts for the petroleum and chemical industries, Steel-belted radial tires and it is also used in radiotherapy
The name cobalt comes from the German word kobalt , meaning evil spirit, the metal being so called by miners because it was poisonous.

Common Uses of Cobalt
Magnetic alloys
Cobalt boats
Catalysts for the petroleum and chemical industries
Steel-belted radial tires
Used in radiotherapy

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Copper
A ductile, malleable, reddish-brown metallic element that is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity and is widely used for electrical wiring, water piping, and corrosion-resistant parts, either pure or in alloys such as brass and bronze. The most common uses of Copper are in Copper sulfate, Hammered copper, Tubing, pipes - Plumbing, Wire, Electromagnets, Statues, Watt's steam engine, Vacuum tubes, Musical instruments, Component of coins, Cookware and Cutlery.
The name originates from the Latin word cyprium, after the island of Cyprus. Copper was associated with the goddess named Aphrodite / Venus in Greek and Roman mythology. The island of Cyprus was sacred to the goddess. In alchemy, the symbol for copper was also the symbol for the planet Venus. In Greek times, the metal was known by the name Chalkos. In Roman times, it became known as Cyprium because so much of it was mined in Cyprus.

Common Uses of Copper
Copper sulfate
Hammered copper
Tubing, pipes - Plumbing
Watt's steam engine
Vacuum tubes
Musical instruments
Component of coins

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Curium
A radioactive transuranic metallic element; produced by bombarding plutonium with helium nuclei. The most common uses of Curium are in Pacemakers, Remote navigational buoys and in Space missions.
The name originates from the word 'Curie' as it was amed in honour of Marie Curie and her husband Pierre Curie.

Common Uses of Curium
Remote navigational buoys
Space missions

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Darmstadtium
Darmstadtium (formerly known as Ununnilium) is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Ds and atomic number 110. It has an atomic weight of 281 making it one of the super-heavy atoms. It is a synthetic element and decays in thousandths of a second. Due to its presence in Group 10 it is believed to likely be metallic and solid.
The name originates from its place of discovery in Darmstadt, Germany

Common Uses of Darmstadtium
No known uses

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Dubnium
An artificially produced radioactive element with atomic number 105 whose most long-lived isotopes have mass numbers of 258, 261, 262, and 263 with half-lives of 4.2, 1.8. 34, and 30 seconds, respectively.
The name Dubnium originates from its place of origin in Dubna, in Russia where it was was first synthesized at the Joint Nuclear Research Institute in 1964

Common Uses of Dubnium
No known uses

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Dysprosium
A soft, silvery rare-earth element used in nuclear research. The most common uses of Dysprosium are in Nuclear research / reactors.
The name originates from the Greek word 'dysprositos' meaning hard to get at.

Common Uses of Dysprosium
Nuclear research / reactors

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Einsteinium
A synthetic transuranic element first produced by neutron irradiation of uranium in a thermonuclear explosion and now usually produced in the laboratory by irradiating plutonium and other elements.
Named in honour of Albert Einstein

Common Uses of Einsteinium
No known uses

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Erbium
A soft, malleable, silvery rare-earth element, used in metallurgy and nuclear research and to color glass and porcelain. The most common uses of Erbium are in metallurgy, Nuclear research, Color glass, Color porcelain and Photographic filters.
Carl Gustaf Mosander was able to separate gadolinite into three materials, which he named yttria, erbia and terbia.

Common Uses of Erbium
Used in metallurgy
Nuclear research
Color glass
Color porcelain
Photographic filter

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Europium
A silvery-white, soft, rare-earth element occurring in monazite and bastnaesite and used to dope lasers and to absorb neutrons in research. The most common uses of Europium are in Color televisions
The name originates as it was named after the continent of Europe

Common Uses of Europium
Color televisions

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Fermium
A radioactive metallic element artificially produced, as by bombardment of plutonium with neutrons. The most common use of Fermium is for research.
Named in honour of Enrico Fermi, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Rome and Nobel Prize winner whose work resulted in the discovery of slow neutrons leading to the discovery of nuclear fission and the production of elements lying beyond what was until 1938 the Periodic Table.

Common Uses of Fermium
No known uses of fermium outside of basic research

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Fluorine
A pale-yellow, highly corrosive, poisonous, gaseous halogen element, the most electronegative and most reactive of all the elements, used in a wide variety of industrially important compounds. The most common uses of Fluorine are in the Production of uranium, Air conditioning, Refrigeration, Insecticide, Toothpaste, Added to municipal water supplies and Teflon.
The name originates from the Latin word 'fluo' meaning flow.

Common Uses of Fluorine
Production of uranium
Air conditioning
Added to municipal water supplies

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Francium
An extremely unstable radioactive element of the alkali metals, produced artificially from actinum or thorium, having approximately 19 isotopes, the most stable of which is Fr 223 with a half-life of 21 minutes.
The name originates from its country of origin - France

Common Uses of Francium
No known use

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Gadolinium
A silvery-white, malleable, ductile, metallic rare-earth element obtained from monazite and bastnaesite and used in improving high-temperature characteristics of iron, chromium, and related alloys. The most common uses of Gadolinium are in Gadolinium yttrium garnets, Phosphors for colour TV tubes, Compact discs and Computer memory.
Gadolinium is named after the Finnish chemist and geologist Johan Gadolin

Common Uses of Gadolinium
Electric light bulbs
Fluorescent tubes

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Gallium
A rare metallic element that is liquid near room temperature, expands on solidifying, and is found as a trace element in coal, bauxite, and other minerals. It is used in semiconductor technology and as a component of various low-melting alloys.
Gallium was discovered by Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran. The name originates from the Latin word Gallia meaning France also gallus, meaning "rooster"after himself 'Lecoq' .

Common Uses of Gallium
Component of various low-melting alloys

Interesting|Unusual Facts About Germanium
A brittle, crystalline, gray-white metalloid element, widely used as a semiconductor, as an alloying agent and catalyst, and in certain optical glasses. The most common uses of Germanium are in Electric guitar amplifiers, Semi-conductors, an alloying agent, Infra-red spectroscopes and optical equipment,
Camera and microscope lenses and for Medical purposes.
The name originates from the the Latin word Germania meaning 'Germany'

Common Uses of Germanium
Electric guitar amplifiers
An alloying agent
Infra-red spectroscopes and optical equipment
Camera and microscope lenses

Unusual|Interesting Facts About ELEMENTS part II
Unusual|Interesting Facts About ELEMENTS part III

Interesting and Unusual Facts: Elements on UNUSUAL|INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ALL