Bismuth crystal cluster, at 4cm in diameter. (by Paul’s Lab)

Bismuth crystal cluster, at 4cm in diameter. (by Paul’s Lab)

Day 26: Interesting Facts About IronAtomic Symbol: Fe; Atomic Number: 26; Atomic Mass: 55.847 
Iron has been well known since ancient times. In fact, Indians were one of the first people to master the art of extracting and smelting iron many years before Europeans. The Iron Pillar located in Delhi is said to be over 1600 years old and in all its time it has not corroded or rusted.
Iron is another element whose atomic symbol may not make sense to English-speakers. Its symbol of Fe is derived from its Latin name of ferrum. This name also gives rise to the term ferromagnetic, which is a property of A Allotrope iron.
Iron is one of the most frequently used metals in the world. In its pure form, it is actually a rather soft metal, so it is usually combined into alloys to produce stronger metals. However, upon prolonged contact with oxygen, the majority of these iron alloys will rust and corrode, necessitating processes such as galvanization and painting.
It is an essential element in biological processes, as plants use iron in chlorophyll and humans use iron in hemoglobin molecules in blood to allow for the transport of oxygen to tissues throughout the body. Yet, too much of it is extremely toxic. Unabsorbed iron in the blood reacts with peroxides to form free radicals that damage DNA, protein, lipids and other cellular components, leading to illness and sometimes death. 
Image: This is a photograph of various forms of high-purity elemental iron. Iron is a blue-gray metal found in steel and many other alloys as well as in pure form.

Day 26: Interesting Facts About Iron
Atomic Symbol: Fe; Atomic Number: 26; Atomic Mass: 55.847 

  1. Iron has been well known since ancient times. In fact, Indians were one of the first people to master the art of extracting and smelting iron many years before Europeans. The Iron Pillar located in Delhi is said to be over 1600 years old and in all its time it has not corroded or rusted.
  2. Iron is another element whose atomic symbol may not make sense to English-speakers. Its symbol of Fe is derived from its Latin name of ferrum. This name also gives rise to the term ferromagnetic, which is a property of A Allotrope iron.
  3. Iron is one of the most frequently used metals in the world. In its pure form, it is actually a rather soft metal, so it is usually combined into alloys to produce stronger metals. However, upon prolonged contact with oxygen, the majority of these iron alloys will rust and corrode, necessitating processes such as galvanization and painting.
  4. It is an essential element in biological processes, as plants use iron in chlorophyll and humans use iron in hemoglobin molecules in blood to allow for the transport of oxygen to tissues throughout the body. Yet, too much of it is extremely toxic. Unabsorbed iron in the blood reacts with peroxides to form free radicals that damage DNA, protein, lipids and other cellular components, leading to illness and sometimes death. 

Image: This is a photograph of various forms of high-purity elemental iron. Iron is a blue-gray metal found in steel and many other alloys as well as in pure form.

Day 13: Interesting Facts About AluminumAtomic Symbol: Al; Atomic Number: 13; Atomic Mass: 26.9815
Aluminum is the most abundant element in the earth’s crust, comprising about 8.3% by mass, in compound combinations in over 270 different minerals, such as bauxite.
Aluminum under normal conditions, is nonmagnetic and will not ignite; however, it is an excellent electrical conductor.
The modern-day uses for aluminum include use in electrical transmission lines, construction of aircraft and rockets, reflective coatings for telescope mirrors, decorations, kitchen utensils, packaging, glassmaking, and producing coherent light for lasers.
Theoretically, aluminum is 100% recyclable, and extremely efficient, at that. Aluminum needs only 5% of the energy used to produce aluminum from its ore.
In most other countries, aluminum is spelled “aluminium,” like its original spelling. The United States officially changed the spelling in 1925, when the American Chemical Society decided to use the name aluminum instead. 
Image: Etched surface from a high purity (99.9998%) aluminum bar.

Day 13: Interesting Facts About Aluminum
Atomic Symbol: Al; Atomic Number: 13; Atomic Mass: 26.9815

  1. Aluminum is the most abundant element in the earth’s crust, comprising about 8.3% by mass, in compound combinations in over 270 different minerals, such as bauxite.
  2. Aluminum under normal conditions, is nonmagnetic and will not ignite; however, it is an excellent electrical conductor.
  3. The modern-day uses for aluminum include use in electrical transmission lines, construction of aircraft and rockets, reflective coatings for telescope mirrors, decorations, kitchen utensils, packaging, glassmaking, and producing coherent light for lasers.
  4. Theoretically, aluminum is 100% recyclable, and extremely efficient, at that. Aluminum needs only 5% of the energy used to produce aluminum from its ore.
  5. In most other countries, aluminum is spelled “aluminium,” like its original spelling. The United States officially changed the spelling in 1925, when the American Chemical Society decided to use the name aluminum instead. 

Image: Etched surface from a high purity (99.9998%) aluminum bar.

Day 12: Interesting Facts About MagnesiumAtomic Symbol: Mg; Atomic Number: 12; Atomic Mass: 24.305
Magnesium is the ninth most abundant element in the universe and the fourth most common element on Earth, composing 13% of the planet’s mass and a large fraction of planet’s mantle. Due to magnesium ion’s high solubility in water, it is the third most abundant element dissolved in seawater.
Magnesium ions are essential to all living cells, where they play a major role in manipulating important biological polyphosphate compounds such as ATP, DNA, and RNA, thus, many enzymes require these ions to function. Magnesium is also the metallic ion at the center of chlorophyll.
Magnesium is commonly utilized in jet-engine parts, rockets and missiles, luggage frames, portable power tools, and cameras and optical instruments, pyrotechnics, as a reducing agent in the preparation of uranium and other metals, and in the preparation of malleable cast iron in order to prevent corrosion.
Magnesium is a highly flammable metal and, once ignited, it is difficult to extinguish, being able to burn in nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water. This property was used in the firebombing of cities in World War II, with the only practical civil defense being to smother a burning flare under dry sand to exclude the atmosphere. 
Image: A chunk of vapor-deposited magnesium crystals produced by the Pidgeon process at a refinery in China.

Day 12: Interesting Facts About Magnesium
Atomic Symbol: Mg; Atomic Number: 12; Atomic Mass: 24.305

  1. Magnesium is the ninth most abundant element in the universe and the fourth most common element on Earth, composing 13% of the planet’s mass and a large fraction of planet’s mantle. Due to magnesium ion’s high solubility in water, it is the third most abundant element dissolved in seawater.
  2. Magnesium ions are essential to all living cells, where they play a major role in manipulating important biological polyphosphate compounds such as ATP, DNA, and RNA, thus, many enzymes require these ions to function. Magnesium is also the metallic ion at the center of chlorophyll.
  3. Magnesium is commonly utilized in jet-engine parts, rockets and missiles, luggage frames, portable power tools, and cameras and optical instruments, pyrotechnics, as a reducing agent in the preparation of uranium and other metals, and in the preparation of malleable cast iron in order to prevent corrosion.
  4. Magnesium is a highly flammable metal and, once ignited, it is difficult to extinguish, being able to burn in nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water. This property was used in the firebombing of cities in World War II, with the only practical civil defense being to smother a burning flare under dry sand to exclude the atmosphere. 

Image: A chunk of vapor-deposited magnesium crystals produced by the Pidgeon process at a refinery in China.

Day 5: Interesting Facts About BoronAtomic Symbol: B; Atomic Number: 5; Atomic Mass:  10.811
Despite its rarity, boron has been known for thousands of years in Asia and Arabia, and it was first brought to Europe by Marco Polo in the 1200s. 
Boron and boron compounds are used in fiberglass insulation, laundry soap, bleach, glass and ceramic manufacturing, bullet-proof vests, golf clubs, MRI machines, and aircrafts.
Boron is used in nuclear reactors and control rods, due to its profound ability to absorb neutrons.
In the medical field, not only helps inhibit the onset of some bone-deteriorating diseases, like osteoporosis, but also also gives pause to the progress of arthritis by increasing serum estrogen levels and preserving the amount of calcium and magnesium in the body.
Image: Boron is most easily obtainable as a fine brown powder… We were therefore very pleased to find boron in this much more attractive solid crystalline form.

Day 5: Interesting Facts About Boron
Atomic Symbol: B; Atomic Number: 5; Atomic Mass:  10.811

  1. Despite its rarity, boron has been known for thousands of years in Asia and Arabia, and it was first brought to Europe by Marco Polo in the 1200s. 
  2. Boron and boron compounds are used in fiberglass insulation, laundry soap, bleach, glass and ceramic manufacturing, bullet-proof vests, golf clubs, MRI machines, and aircrafts.
  3. Boron is used in nuclear reactors and control rods, due to its profound ability to absorb neutrons.
  4. In the medical field, not only helps inhibit the onset of some bone-deteriorating diseases, like osteoporosis, but also also gives pause to the progress of arthritis by increasing serum estrogen levels and preserving the amount of calcium and magnesium in the body.

Image: Boron is most easily obtainable as a fine brown powder… We were therefore very pleased to find boron in this much more attractive solid crystalline form.

Day 4: Interesting Facts About BerylliumAtomic Symbol: Be; Atomic Number: 4; Atomic Mass: 9.01218
Beryllium is mainly 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. Common uses include light bulbs, fluorescent tubing, electronic devices, and focus of the lasers for laser-eye surgery.
It has only two-thirds the density of aluminum, is six times stiffer than steel, and is non-magnetic.
Beryllium is thus used on space shuttles, space telescopes, and missiles due to its strong, yet lightweight nature.
Though beryllium tastes sweet, it is toxic. Chronic exposure to beryllium (typically through inhalation) can lead to a life-threatening allergic disease called berylliosis.
Image: This piece of beryllium was originally purchased about 25 years ago from Brush-Wellman, by far the largest and oldest company in the world that deals with the production, refining, and fabrication of beryllium.

Day 4: Interesting Facts About Beryllium
Atomic Symbol: Be; Atomic Number: 4; Atomic Mass: 9.01218

  1. Beryllium is mainly 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. Common uses include light bulbs, fluorescent tubing, electronic devices, and focus of the lasers for laser-eye surgery.
  2. It has only two-thirds the density of aluminum, is six times stiffer than steel, and is non-magnetic.
  3. Beryllium is thus used on space shuttles, space telescopes, and missiles due to its strong, yet lightweight nature.
  4. Though beryllium tastes sweet, it is toxic. Chronic exposure to beryllium (typically through inhalation) can lead to a life-threatening allergic disease called berylliosis.

Image: This piece of beryllium was originally purchased about 25 years ago from Brush-Wellman, by far the largest and oldest company in the world that deals with the production, refining, and fabrication of beryllium.

Day 3: Interesting Facts About LithiumAtomic Symbol: Li; Atomic Number: 3; Atomic Mass: 6.941
Lithium does not occur in nature in its free form; however, it found in almost all igneous rocks and many natural brines.
It is commonly used as a heat transfer medium, in thermo-nuclear weapons, and in various alloys, ceramics, medical uses, and optical forms of glass.
Pure lithium metal is extremely corrosive. So much so that it requires special handling.
 The transmutation of lithium to tritium (a radioactive isotope of hydrogen) was the first man-made nuclear fusion reaction. 
Image: The world’s largest salt flat is also the place for the world’s largest lithium reserve (50%-70% of the total quantity of lithium on the planet is extracted from Salar de Uyuni).

Day 3: Interesting Facts About Lithium
Atomic Symbol: Li; Atomic Number: 3; Atomic Mass: 6.941

  1. Lithium does not occur in nature in its free form; however, it found in almost all igneous rocks and many natural brines.
  2. It is commonly used as a heat transfer medium, in thermo-nuclear weapons, and in various alloys, ceramics, medical uses, and optical forms of glass.
  3. Pure lithium metal is extremely corrosive. So much so that it requires special handling.
  4. The transmutation of lithium to tritium (a radioactive isotope of hydrogen) was the first man-made nuclear fusion reaction. 

Image: The world’s largest salt flat is also the place for the world’s largest lithium reserve (50%-70% of the total quantity of lithium on the planet is extracted from Salar de Uyuni).

fuckyeah-chemistry:

Gallium, has one of the largest liquid ranges of any metal.
Gallium is one of the metals (with caesium, rubidium, francium and mercury) which are liquid at or near normal room temperature. It’s boiling point is almost the same as room temperature, meaning gallium will melt in your hand! Used in high temperature thermometers. Gallium arsenide (GaAs) can produce laser light directly from electricity. Atomic number: 31.
Learn more

fuckyeah-chemistry:

Gallium, has one of the largest liquid ranges of any metal.

Gallium is one of the metals (with caesium, rubidium, francium and mercury) which are liquid at or near normal room temperature. It’s boiling point is almost the same as room temperature, meaning gallium will melt in your hand! Used in high temperature thermometers. Gallium arsenide (GaAs) can produce laser light directly from electricity. Atomic number: 31.

Learn more