Day 24: Interesting Facts About Chromium
Atomic Symbol: Cr; Atomic Number: 24; Atomic Mass: 51.9961
- Many chromium compounds are distinctively colored, ranging from bright oranges and yellows to vivid greens and purples; hence why the name of the element is derived from the Greek word for color.
- Chromium is the only element which shows antiferromagnetic ordering in its solid state at and below room temperature, although, when raised to a temperature above 38°C, the element becomes paramagnetic.
- Chromium is commonly used to prepare pigments, in the coloring of rubies and gems, in some tanning processes, as a catalyst, and as a decorative and protective metal coating such as stainless steel.
- As humans, we require trace amounts of trivalent chromium in our diets to regulate protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism. It also stimulates insulin activity, which means that future studies on chromium may provide insight into diabetes and how to best treat it. Chromium deficiency can result in poor control of blood sugar levels and diabetes-like symptoms.
Image: Chromium, remelted in a horizontal arc zone-refiner, showing large visible crystal grains.