Wikijunior:The Elements/Beryllium

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Shows the position of Beryllium on the periodic chart.
Beryllium's symbol on the Periodic Table

What does it look, feel, taste, or smell like?[edit]

Beryllium has a sweet taste to it, but due to its toxicity it should never be eaten or sampled. It is grey, and light-weight.

How was it discovered?[edit]

Beryllium was found by Louis-Nicolas Vaquelin in 1798. Vacquelin found beryllium in beryl and emeralds.

Where did its name come from?[edit]

The name came from the Greek word for pale because the gemstone beryl is pale.

Did You Know?

  • It is not known to be useful or necessary for plant or animal life.
  • It usually used as hardening for metals.
  • It does not rust at room temperature.

Where is it found?[edit]

It is found rarely in isolation in the earth. It is found in 30 mineral species including: Terlandite, Beryl, Chrsoberge, and Phenacite. It is found in large quantities in old stars. This was discovered in 1992 where scientists found a lot of beryllium in 6 old stars on the edge of the Milky Way.

What are its uses?[edit]

Because beryllium is one of the lightest metals and has one of the highest melting points of light metals, it has been used in structures for high speed aircraft and missiles. Because it also does not spark, it is used in non-sparking tools. Because it reacts with the alpha particles released by polonium to produce neutrons, it is used in A-bomb initiators. And finally, because it does not react with acid and uranium it is used to make nuclear generators.

Is it dangerous?[edit]

Yes, it is EXTREMELY toxic when eaten. Only 0.000000001g of the substance is required to kill you.

References[edit]