The most interesting metals

The most interesting metals



Who does not listen to metal - God did not give that mind!

- Folk art

Hi% username%.

gjf is back in touch. Today I will be very brief, because after six hours, get up and go.

And today I want to tell you about the metal. But not about the fact that the music - about that we can talk somehow over a glass of beer, and not on Habré. And not even about metal - but about metals! And I want to tell you about those metals that have somehow struck me in life with their properties.

Since all the participants of the charts differ in some of their superpowers, then the seats and the winners will not. There will be a metal ten! So the sequence number means nothing.

Let's go.

1. Mercury


Mercury is the most liquid metal: its melting point is -39 ° C. About the fact that it is toxic - and even very - I already wrote , and therefore I will not repeat.

From ancient times on mercury except they did not pray - still, "liquid silver"! Alchemists believed that it was in mercury that the famous philosopher's stone was hiding somewhere, for example, Jabir ibn Hayyan believed that once mercury is a liquid metal, then it is “absolute”: it is free from any impurities inherent in solid metals. Sulfur is another element of admiration of Khayyan - an element of fire, it is able to give a pure "absolute" flame, and therefore all other metals (and since it was the eighth century - there were few of them) are formed of mercury and sulfur.

That in the VIII century, what now - if you mix mercury and sulfur, you get black mercury sulfide (and this, by the way, is one of the ways to deactivate spilled mercury) - but certainly not metal. Haiyan explained this unfortunate failure by the fact that all stupid lacks a certain “maturation”, which from the black nonsense will lead to the production of metal. And of course, everyone rushed to look for a "maturation" in order to get gold. The history of the search for the philosopher's stone has been officially declared open

% username%, you are now laughing at the alchemists - but they did succeed! In 1947, the only stable gold isotope Au-197 was obtained by American physicists during the beta decay of the Hg-197 isotope. Of the 100 mg of mercury extracted as much as 35 micrograms of gold - and they now adorn the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. So the alchemists were right - you can! Only, damn it, expensive ...

By the way, the only alchemist who did not believe in the possibility of obtaining gold from other metals was Abu Ali Hussein ibn Abdullah ibn al-Hasan ibn Ali ibn Sina - and for dark infidels - just Avicenna.

By the way, with the mercury in appearance it is very rivaling another metal - gallium. Its melting point is 29 ° C, at school I was shown a spectacular trick: a piece of some metal was put on my hand ...

.. and this is what happens


By the way, gallium can now be bought on Alik to show such a focus. I don’t know if it’s going to pass through customs.

2. Titan


Severe titanium - this is not mercury snot for you! This is the hardest metal! Well, in my childhood and youth titan wrote on all these glasses in public transport. Because scratched - and painted with fine metal dust.

Everyone knows that titanium due to its hardness and lightness is used in aviation. I'll tell you about some interesting applications.

Being heated, titanium begins to absorb different gases - oxygen, chlorine and even nitrogen. This is used in inert gas cleaning installations (argon, for example) - it is blown through tubes filled with a titanium sponge and heated to 500-600 ° C. By the way, at this temperature, the titanium sponge interacts with water - oxygen is absorbed, hydrogen is given away, but usually hydrogen in inert gases does not bother anyone, unlike water.
White titanium dioxide TiO 2 is used in paints (for example, titanium white), as well as in the manufacture of paper and plastic. Food supplement E171. By the way, in the production of titanium dioxide, it is necessary to control its elemental composition - but not at all in order to reduce impurities, but to add "whiteness": it is necessary that the coloring elements be iron, chromium, copper, etc. - it was smaller.

Titanium carbide, titanium diboride, titanium carbonitride are the competitors of tungsten carbide for hardness. The disadvantage is they are easier.

Titanium nitride is used to cover tools, domes of churches and in the manufacture of jewelry, as it has a color similar to gold. All of these “medical alloys,” like gold, are titanium nitride coatings.

By the way, hard scientists recently made an alloy that is harder than titanium! Only to achieve this - it was necessary to mix palladium, silicon, phosphorus, germanium and silver. The thing turned out not cheap, and therefore again won the titan.

3. Tungsten


Tungsten is also the opposite of mercury: the most refractory metal with a melting point of 3422 ° C. It has been known since the 16th century, although not the metal itself is known, but the mineral wolfram, which contains tungsten. By the way, the name Wolf Rahm in the language of harsh Germans means “wolf cream”: the Germans who smelted tin very much disliked the admixture of wolframite, which interfered with smelting, translating tin into slag foam (“devoured tin like a wolf sheep”). The metal itself was already identified later, after about 200 years.

The fact that in the photo is not tungsten in fact, but tungsten carbide, so if you have such a ring on your hand,%% username, then do not ask too much. Tungsten carbide is a heavy and extremely hard compound - and therefore it is used in every detail that is beaten, “wins” by the way - this is 90% of tungsten carbide. Also, tungsten carbide is added by kind people as a tip for armor-piercing shells and bullets. But not only him, I’ll tell you about another metal later.

By the way, although tungsten and heavy - but despite the greater density compared to traditional and cheaper lead, radiation protection of tungsten is less heavy with equal protective properties or more effective with equal weight. Due to the refractoriness and hardness of tungsten, which impedes its processing, in such cases more flexible tungsten alloys with the addition of other metals or a suspension of powdered tungsten (or its compounds) in a polymer base are used. It turns out easier, more efficient - but only more expensive. So in the case of folaut,% username%, get yourself tungsten armor!

By the way, on my “eternal ring” I managed to put a stain on some kind of chemistry - and I don’t even know what. So "eternal" is only for ordinary people)))

4. Uranus


The only natural metal that is used as fuel, and it is used without residue, literally at the atomic level.

When I was still a schoolboy, but I was entrusted to the university (I cannot say why!), I was always amused by the reaction of foreign students when they were shown crystals of uranyl sodium acetate in a microscope. Well, there is such a qualitative response. When the word “uranil” was spoken to foreigners, they were blown off the floor. Everyone laughed.

It is ridiculous and sad for me that now the majority of our people also believe that it is ugly, dangerous and terrible. Fall education is evident.

In fact, even in ancient times, natural uranium oxide was used to make yellow dishes. Thus, a fragment of yellow glass containing 1% uranium oxide and dated 79 AD was found near Naples. er It does not glow in the dark and does not fonit. I was in Yellow Waters in Ukraine, where uranium concentrate is mined. No one there is lit and not fonit. And the clue is simple: natural uranium is weakly radioactive - no more than granites and basalts, as well as waste heaps and underground. The uranium that is URAN is the U-235 isotope, which is only 0.7204% in nature. It is so small that it is necessary for nuclear scientists to isolate and concentrate this isotope (“enrich”) - the reactor will not work so easily.

By the way, earlier in nature, U-235 was more - just over time it fell apart. And since it was more - a nuclear reactor could be made right on the knee. Literally. This happened in Gabon at the Oklo field about 2 billion years ago: water ran through the ore, water — the natural neutron moderator that escapes when uranium-235 decays — as a result, the neutron energy was just as much as needed to capture the uranium-235 core - and went-gone chain reaction. And uranchik burned himself a few hundred years, until it burned out ...

This was discovered much later, in 1972, when a uranium enrichment plant was found at the uranium processing plant in Pierlat (France) during the analysis of uranium from Oklo. The content of the U-235 isotope was 0.717% instead of the usual 0.720%. Uranium is not a sausage, here the underweight is strictly punished: all nuclear facilities are subject to strict control in order to prevent the illegal use of fissionable materials for military purposes. Therefore, scientists began to investigate, found a couple more elements, such as neodymium and ruthenium, and realized that U-235 was stolen before us just burned out, as in a reactor. That is, the nature of a nuclear reactor was invented long before us. However, like everything.

The depleted uranium (this is when the 235th was taken and given to the atomic lobbyists, but U-238 remained) is heavy and solid, resembles tungsten in its properties, and therefore is used in the same way where it is necessary to beat. This is a story from the former Yugoslavia: they used armor-piercing shells with striking uranium. The population had problems, but not at all due to radiation: fine uranium dust fell into the lungs, absorbed - and produced fruits: the uranium is toxic to the kidneys. That's it - and there is nothing to fear uranyl acetate! True, the laws of the Russian Federation is not a decree - and therefore there are eternal problems with the arrival of chemical reagents containing uranium - because there is only one uranium for an official.

And there is also uranium glass: a small addition of uranium gives a beautiful yellow-green fluorescence.

And it is fucking beautiful!



By the way, it is very useful to offer guests apples or a salad, and then turn on a little ultraviolet and show how beautiful. When everyone finishes admiring, it is careless to quit: “Well, yes, why, this is uranium glass ...” And bite a piece of the apple from a vase ...

5. Osmi


Well, since we talked about heavy tungsten uranium, then it is time to name the heaviest metal in general - this is osmium. Its density is 22.62 g/cm 3 !

However, osmium, being the hardest, does not prevent anything from being even volatile: it gradually oxidizes in air to OsO 4 , which is volatile - and by the way, very poisonous. Yes - this is an element of the platinum group, but it is completely oxidized. The name "osmium" comes from the ancient Greek ὀσμή - "smell" - precisely because of this: chemical reactions of dissolution of an alkaline osmiridium alloy (insoluble platinum residue in aqua regia) in water or acid are accompanied by the release of the unpleasant, odor OsO 4 irritating throat, like the smell of chlorine or rotten radish. This smell was felt by Smithson Tennant (about him later), who worked with osmiridia - and called metal. And I know that osmium should be in powder and it should be heated so that the process goes intensively - but in any case I don’t strive to stay close to this metal for a long time.

By the way, there is still such an isotope Os-187. In nature, it is very small, and therefore it is isolated from osmium by centrifuges through mass separation, just like uranium. Separation is waiting for 9 months - yes, it is quite possible to give birth. That is why Os-187 is one of the most expensive metals, it is its content that determines the market price of natural osmium. But he is not the most expensive, I’ll tell you about the one below.

6. Iridium


Since we are talking about a platinum group, then it is worth remembering about iridium. Osmium took away the title of the heaviest metal from iridium - but it diverged in copecks: the density of iridium is 22.53 g/cm 3 . Osmium and iridium were even discovered together in 1803 by the English chemist S. Tennant - both as impurities present in natural platinum, brought from South America. Tennant was the first among several scientists who managed to obtain an insoluble residue in sufficient quantity after exposing royal vodka to platinum and identify previously unknown metals in it.

But unlike osmium, iridium is the most damn resistant metal: it does not dissolve in any acid and their mixtures as an ingot! At all! Even formidable fluorine takes it only at 400-450 ° C. In order to dissolve iridium, it is necessary to alloy it with alkalis - and even more preferably in a stream of oxygen.

The mechanical and chemical strength of iridium is used in the Chamber of Measures and Scales - a kilogram standard is made of a platinum-iridium alloy.

At present, iridium is not a banking metal, but there are already some shifts in this: in 2013, iridium was used for the first time in the world in the manufacture of official coins by the National Bank of Rwanda, which issued a coin from pure 999 metal. The iridium coin was issued in denominations of 10 Rwandan francs. And damn - I would like such a coin!

By the way, in my youth I read a fantastic story when I was young when <<>> I walked to success I could replace iridium sand at a rate of 1: 1 with some aliens in the basement. Well, they see whether silicon was needed! I don’t remember the name and author of the story. Thanks Wesha - < a href = "https://habr.com/ru/en/post/451280/?reply_to=20137656#comment_20137654"> reminded: V.Shibaev. Cable "out".

7. Gold
Oh well, everyone saw it


In life, it often happens that there is a real and formal champion. If iridium is the actual champion in chemical resistance, then gold is formal: it is the most electronegative metal, 2.54 on the Pauling scale.But this does not prevent the gold from dissolving in mixtures of acids, so that, as usual, the laurels were given to those who are richer.

Indeed, at the moment, due to the fact that China and the Russian Federation are moving away from the policy of accumulating gold reserves in dollars to the policy of accumulating gold itself, gold is the most expensive metal in metal: at a price, it has long overtaken platinum - and indeed the whole platinum group. So keep the money in the savings bank gold,%% username!

Since the alchemical method of gold mining has shown its high cost, this metal is obtained at refineries. And the coins are already made in mints. So, as a person who has been there and there, I can say: when working at such an enterprise, when visiting a zone where there is a precious metal, they either change - and there are no pins or clips on working clothes - the frames at the entrance are not at all like at airports there everything is tougher. Or the so-called “naked regime” is working - yes, yes, you understood correctly: the checkpoint for boys and the checkpoint for girls - you will be dressed inside. If you have a metal implant - a bunch of certificates, a lot of permissions, each time individually check that the implant is in the place where it should be.

By the way, what do you think - how are the checkpoints in the banknote yard organized? Papers do not call!

The answer is here, but think a bit yourself
After work, they don’t let anyone out, including the manual, until all the products are counted. Yes - everything is strictly. But no one is against it when in difficult times wages were issued with products.

8. Lithium


Unlike heavy osmium-iridium, lithium is the lightest metal, its density is only 0.534 g/cm 3 . It is an alkaline metal, but the most inactive of the entire group: it does not explode in water, but interacts calmly, does not oxidize too much in air, and it is not easy to burn it: after 100 ° C it is so well covered with oxide that it is not further oxidized. Therefore, lithium is the only alkali metal that is not stored in kerosene - why, if it is sufficiently inert? And this fortunately - because of its low density, lithium would float in kerosene.

Natural lithium consists of two isotopes: Li-6 and Li-7. Since the atom itself is so small, the extra neutron significantly affects the radius of the orbital and the electron excitation energy, and therefore the usual atomic spectrum of these two isotopes is different - therefore, it is possible to determine them even without any mass spectrometers - and this is the only exception in nature! Both isotopes are very important in nuclear power, by the way, Li-6 deuteride is used as thermonuclear powder in thermonuclear weapons - and I will not say another word on this topic!

Lithium is also used by psychiatrists as a standard for treating and preventing mania. When I was working as a student at the department, an aunt came to us with a blood plasma in which it was necessary to determine lithium. From some time I took and got into the literature (there was no Internet yet) in order to understand why there is any definition of lithium there? And I found out ... From the next visit, I casually asked my aunt, but whose blood was there at all? When she answered hers, I tried not to meet her more personally.

Well, so - lithium and lithium, it is sometimes even determined in water. By the way, there is quite a lot of water in Lviv.

And by the way - with the growing popularity of electric vehicles, portable devices and everything that works on lithium-containing batteries, it is believed that the price of lithium will rise quite quickly. So it may be better to keep money not in gold, but in lithium. But this is inaccurate, especially after Australia entered the lithium market.

9. Frances


France has a whole set of titles. Well, firstly, francium is the rarest metal. All its content is completely radiogenic: it exists as an intermediate decay product of uranium-235 and thorium-232. The total content of France in the crust is estimated at 340 grams. So the spot on the picture above is not a photo of a black hole in full face, but about 200,000 France atoms in a magneto-optical trap. All France isotopes are radioactive, the longest living isotope, Fr-223, has a half-life of 22.3 minutes. Because France is so little.

However, francium has the lowest electronegativity of all elements currently known, 0.7 on the Pauling scale. Accordingly, francium is also the most chemically active alkali metal and forms the strongest alkali - francium hydroxide FrOH. And do not ask% username% how it was determined with an element whose zilch is small and which every 22.3 minutes becomes two times less than , and the researcher glows more and more brightly . That is why all this is interesting and entertaining, but France is practically never used anywhere.

10. California
/& gt

California in this world is not at all, but it is produced in two places: Dimitrovgrad in the Russian Federation and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the USA. To produce one gram of California, plutonium or curium is subjected to prolonged neutron irradiation in a nuclear reactor - from 8 months to 1.5 years. The entire decay line is as follows: Plutonium-Americium-Curium-Berkeley-California. California-252 is the end result of the chain - this element cannot be turned into a heavier isotope, since its core as it were says “thank you, ate” responds poorly to exposure to neutrons.

On the way to the conversion of plutonium to californium, 99.7% of 100% of the nuclei decay. Only 0.3% of nuclei are kept from decay and the whole stage passes to the end. And still need to highlight the product! Isotope isolation occurs by extraction, extraction chromatography, or due to ion exchange. To give it a metallic look, a reduction reaction is performed.

One kilogram of California-252 consumes 10 kilograms of plutonium-239.

The annual amount of California-252 produced is 40-80 micrograms, and according to expert estimates, the global supply of California is not more than 8 grams. Therefore, California, or rather, California-252 is the world's most expensive industrial metal, the cost of its one gram varied from 6.5 to 27 million dollars in different years.

The logical question is: who needs it at all? You can't make a chain of it around your neck, you will not give a beloved ring. The fact is that Cf-252 has a high neutron multiplication factor (above 3). The Cf-252 gram emits about 3⋅10 12 neutrons per second. Yes, it is potentially possible to make an atomic bomb, but it is cheaper from uranium and the same plutonium; therefore, California itself is used as a source of neutrons in various studies, including industrial in-line neutron activation analyzers on a conveyor belt. By the way,% username%, I personally saw this California in the form of a small ampulka, which was pulled out of a hefty barrel of radiation protection and quickly put in the right place of the analyzer.

It is clear that for such money, California simply has to be poison, albeit not so cool, as polonium, which blows alpha particles but neutrons are also nothing. But it comes out a little expensive, of course.

Well, everything seems to be left to sleep about four hours before the trip. I hope that it was interesting, and I didn’t get it all right.

I wish you,% username%, to be as hard as a titan, easy-going, like lithium, as strong as iridium and as valuable as California! Well, more gold in your pocket, of course.
(you can flash this toast on the next holiday - do not thank)

P.S. Since with titanium, we find fault with hardness (for some reason, no one has any more quarreled with ???) - I’ll get an ace from my sleeve.

11. Radium

Radium is the metal of deception and frustration. And I will explain. The metal itself is quite rare and completely radiogenic — it occurs when uranium-238, uranium-235, or thorium-232 decays; Of the four found in nature, the most common and long-lived isotope (half-life is 1602 years) is radium-226, which is part of the radioactive uranium-238 series. Over the past since the time of its discovery, the Curie spouses - more than a century - have managed to extract only 1.5 kg of pure radium in the whole world. One ton of uranium tar, from which the Curie couple received radium, contained only about 0.1 g of radium-226.

Radium literally evaporates: all radium isotopes (with the exception of radium-228) decay to radon gas - by the way, also radioactive. The decay type is α, however gamma quanta are also allocated.

Marie Curie worked for 12 years to get a grain of pure radium. To get only 1 g of pure radium, it was necessary to have several wagons of uranium ore, 100 wagons of coal, 100 cisterns of water and 5 wagons of various chemicals. Therefore, at the beginning of the 20th century there was no more expensive metal in the world. For 1 g of radium, you had to pay more than 200 kg of gold.

And this metal also glows beautifully in the dark.


It is clear that with such a set of properties and price, only the lazy did not add radium to their products and tell how miraculous it is. There was a mass of "doctors" who are not doctors (and what this reminds me of) - the same William J. A. Bailey. In the 1930s France, the manufacturers of the most popular face creams, ThoRadia, boasted the enrichment of their ointments with thorium and radium. In Germany, they made toothpaste with radium. Apparently it was from there that the expression "Your face shines" and "Your teeth are dazzling." Well, I do not know.

There were radium-containing crackers, and the addition of radium bromide to chocolate was patented in Germany in 1936. Chocolates and crackers could be washed down with radioactive mineral water. This water was sold at high prices, and in advertisements it was proudly called as "having a high content of radioactive elements." The most well-known brand of such mineral water was Radithor in 60 ml bottles containing 2 microcuries of radium each (the already mentioned “doctor” Bailey suggested it to everyone, ostensibly as a stimulator of the endocrine system).

Superproduction Examples



Radium is an alkaline-earth metal, which means it is very similar in chemistry to calcium and magnesium. And very well replaces them in the bones - and from there it begins to bombard the bone marrow, lungs and other tender organs with direct fire. It is a little comforting that radium products were available only to really rich people ...

On April 11, 1932, Time magazine reported that the famous rich man, an athlete and a secular lion, a lover of golf and some Radithor water (after injuring his hand in 1927) Eben Beyer died of radium poisoning.
Time article


In 1965 his body was exhumed. It was found that Bayer received a total of about 500 microcuries of radium. It is not surprising that the cause of death is multiple neoplasms, abscesses in the brain and in the literal sense of the word holes in the skull - in other words, cancer.

If you think,% username%, that someone has taught something to someone, then you are mistaken: until the 1970s, radium, along with a phosphor — usually zinc sulphide — was applied to the strands of various devices, including watches. This was called the "permanent light phosphor" - or SPD. In the USSR, LDS was usually mustard yellow, while in America it was greenish-white or bluish.
Some examples


So, SPD eventually begins to dry out and turn into dust, you inhale this dust - and where does the radium get? Right! Five! In the sense - you have five years of life left. Probably. Well, anyway - a bit.

By the way, even there is a group in the VC where they post photos with SPD.

By the way, other isotopes that have no relation to radium are historically associated with the name radium. Namely:
Radium A 218 Po
Radium B 214 Pb
Radium C 214 Bi
Radium C 1 214 Po
Radium C 2 210 Tl
Radium D 210 Pb
Radium E 210 Bi
Radium F 210 Po

In fact, these isotopes were discovered as products in the chain of further decay of radium, but before they were identified as elements, they were called radium A, B, and so on. Well then the names got accustomed.

This is how it happens when you are to the element with all your soul - and it is for you ... Life is a pain.

I was justified for the titan? ;)

Source text: The most interesting metals