Wikijunior:The Elements/Gallium

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

What does it look and feel like?

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Crystals of 99.999% gallium.

Gallium is an odorless, soft, silver metal. Its melting point is low, around 37 degrees Celsius, so it can be melt when you hold it. Gallium is such a soft matter that it can be cut, using a normal knife easily. You can shape it if you like even with your hand. When you put it in acids and alkalis, it will react.

How was it discovered?

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Paul E. Lecoq who is a French Chemist, found Gallium through a spectroscope in 1875 in Paris.

Where did its name come from?

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Paul E. Lecoq de Boisbaudran, the chemist discovering that element, named it “Gallium” . Gallium is a Latin word which means France.

Where is it found?

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Did You Know?

    • Gallium is easy to change the state and it depends on the temperature.
    • The Gallium will melt when you put it out of your hand. Your body temperature will make the gallium melt.
    • This Gallium does not react with oxygen and air or water because the oxide layer.

Gallium is not found in and its elemental form on earth but it is found in minerals and ores on earth.

What are its uses?

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Gallium is used like silicon and it’s an important substance in electronics industry. It is also useful in making thermometers because it has low melting point like mercury but non toxic, which is better than mercury.

Is it dangerous?

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When Gallium dissolves into aluminium, it will release ability to create a protective oxide layer. If it happens, any metal machines will be collapsed , injuring or killing people. It is banned from planes in case the metal could damage any metal things in the plane.


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