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Beryllium

Be

Atomic Number: 4
Atomic Weight: 9.01218
Element Type: Alkali Earth Metal
Crystal Structure: Hexagonal
Melting Point: 1287.0°C = 2348.6°F = 1560.15 K
Boiling Point: 2471.0°C = 4479.8°F = 2744.15 K
Critical Temp: °C = °F = K
Atomic Radius: 1.4 Å (Å = Angstrom = 10-10 m)
Covalent Radius: 0.9 Å
Electronegativity: 1.57

Discovery

(Gr. beryllos, beryl; also called Glucinium or Glucinum, Gr. glykys, sweet) Discoveredas the oxide by Vauquelin in beryl and in emeralds in 1798. The metal was isolated in 1828by Wohler and by Bussy independently by the action of potassium on beryllium chloride.

Sources

Beryllium is found in some 30 mineral species, the most important of which arebertrandite, beryl, chrysoberyl, and phenacite. Aquamarine and emerald are precious formsof beryl. Beryl and bertrandite are the most important commercial sources of the elementand its compounds. Most of the metal is now prepared by reducing beryllium fluoride withmagnesium metal. Beryllium metal did not become readily available to industry until 1957.

Uses

Precious forms of beryllium include aquamarine, morganite, and emerald. Beryllium is used as an alloying agent in producing beryllium copper, which is used for springs, electrical contacts, nonsparking tools, and spot-welding electrodes. It is used in many structural components of the space shuttle and other aerospace craft. Beryllium foil is used in x-ray lithography for making integrated circuits. It is used as a reflector or moderator in nuclear reactions. Beryllium is used in gyroscopes and computer parts. The oxide has a very high melting point and is used in ceramics and nuclear applications.


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