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【Popular Science Series】The best of 40 metals

  • Time: 2023-02-23
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1. The purest metal

Germanium: Germanium purified by regional melting technology, purity up to "13 9s" (99.999999999999%)

2. The most metals

Aluminum: Its abundance accounts for about 8% of the earth's crust, and there are aluminum compounds everywhere on the earth, and ordinary soil also contains many aluminas.

3. Minimal metal

Polonium: The total amount in the earth's crust is extremely small. 

4. The lightest metal

ithium: Equivalent to one-half the weight of water, it can not only float on the surface of water, but may also float in erosene. 

5. The most difficult metal to melt

Tungsten: melting point is 3410 °C, boiling point is 5700 °C. When the electric light is on, the temperature of the filament is as high as 3000 °C or more, and only tungsten can withstand such a high temperature. China is the world's largest storage country of tungsten, mainly scheeliteite and wolframite.

6. The metal with the lowest melting point

Mercury: Its freezing point is –38.7°C.

7. Metal with the highest output

Iron: Iron is the metal with the highest annual production, with global crude steel production reaching 1,691.2 million tonnes in 2017. At the same time, iron is also the second most abundant metal element in the earth's crust.

8. The metal that can absorb gas the most

Palladium: 1 volume of metal palladium at room temperature can absorb 900-2800 volumes of hydrogen.

9. The metal with the best ductility

Gold: 1 gram of gold can be drawn into a 4,000-meter-long filament; If pounded into gold leaf, the thickness can reach 5×10-4 mm. 

10. Metal with the best ductility

Platinum: The thinnest platinum wire diameter is only 1/5000mm.

11. Metal with the best conductivity

Silver: It is 59 times more conductive than mercury.

12. The highest metal element in the human body

Calcium: Calcium is the most abundant metal element in the human body, accounting for about 1.4% of the body's mass.

13. The transition metal at the top of the ranking

Scandium: Scandium has an atomic number of only 21 and is the highest transition metal.

14. The most precious metal

Calf (kāi): In 1975, the world provided only about 1 gram of californium, and the price of 1 gram was around $1 billion.

15. The easiest superconducting element to apply

Niobium: When it is cooled to an ultra-low temperature of 263.9°C, it will deteriorate into a superconductor with almost no resistance.

16. The heaviest metal

Osmium: Osmium weighs 22.59 grams per cubic centimeter, and its density is about twice that of lead and 3 times that of iron.

17. Metal with the least hardness

Sodium: Its Mohs hardness is 0.4, and it can be cut with a knife at room temperature.

18. The hardest metal

Chromium: Known as "hard bones", chromium (Cr) is a silvery-white metal that is extremely hard and brittle. Mohs hardness is 9, second only to diamond.

19. The earliest metal used

Copper: According to research, the earliest copper ware in China has a history of more than 4,000 years.

20. Metal with the largest liquid range

Gallium: its melting point is 29.78 °C, boiling point 2205 °C. 

21. The metal that is most likely to generate current under light

Cesium: Its main use is the production of various photocells.

22. Alkaline earth metal is the most active element

Barium: Barium is chemically active and is the most active among alkaline earth metals. It was only in 1808 that it was classified as a metal element.

23. The metal that is most afraid of cold

Tin: When the temperature is lower than -13.2 °C, tin begins to crumble; when the temperature is lower than -30~-40 °C, it will immediately become a powder, which is often called "tin epidemic".

24. The most toxic metal to humans

Plutonium: Its lethality is 486 million times that of arsenic, and it is also the strongest carcinogen, 1×10-6 grams of plutonium can make people cancer.

25. The largest natural gold

It was discovered by the Star of Hope Gold Mining Company in the Hillender region of Australia on October 19, 1872, weighing 214.3 kg.

26. The largest natural silver

Found in the Sonora region of Mexico, weighing 1026.5 kg.

27. The largest natural copper

Weighing 26 tons, it was discovered in 1977 at the Horton Quincy Mine in Michigan, USA.

28. The largest radioactive element in seawater

Uranium: Uranium is the largest radioactive element in seawater, estimated at four billion tons, 1544 times the amount of uranium on land.

29. The most abundant element in seawater

Sodium: Sodium exists in the form of potassium ions in seawater at a content of about 10.62 g/kg, which is the most abundant metal element in seawater.

30. The metal with the highest atomic number among stable elements

Lead: Lead has the highest atomic number of all stable chemical elements. There are 4 stable isotopes in nature: lead 204, 206, 207, 208.

31. The most common human allergenic metals

Nickel: Nickel is the most common allergenic metal, and about 20% of people are allergic to nickel ions.

32. The most important metal in aerospace

Titanium: Titanium is a gray transition metal, which is characterized by light weight, high strength, and good corrosion resistance, and is known as "space metal".

33. The most acid-resistant metal

Tantalum: Does not react to hydrochloric acid, concentrated nitric acid and "aqua regia" under both cold and hot conditions. In concentrated sulfuric acid at 175 ° C for 1 year, the thickness of the corroded is 0.0004 mm.

34. Metals with the smallest atomic radius

Beryllium: It has an atomic radius of 89pm.

35. The most corrosion-resistant metal

Iridium: Iridium is extremely chemically stable to acid, insoluble in acid, only spongy iridium will slowly dissolve in hot aqua regia, if it is a dense state of iridium, even boiling aqua regia, can not corrode.

36. Metal with the most special color

Copper: Pure metallic copper is purple-red.

37. The metal containing the most isotopes

Tin: There are 10 stable isotopes

38. The heaviest alkali metal

Francium: Derived from actinium decay, it is a radioactive metal, the heaviest metal in alkali metals, with a relative atomic mass of 223.

39. The last metal discovered by man

Rhenium: The supermetal rhenium is a truly rare element, plus it does not form a fixed mineral and is often associated with other metals. This makes it the last element found in nature.

40. The most special metal at room temperature

Mercury: At room temperature, the metal is solid, only mercury is the most special, it is the only liquid metal at room temperature.