Sitting at the fourth position on the Period Table, Beryllium has quite an interesting history. Did you know that there are some countries where Beryllium is not referred by the name Beryllium? In those countries, they call the element as Glucinum or Glucinium. Well, there are many more interesting facts like that. So, without further ado, let us learn 20 interesting Beryllium facts that you might need for your school project. But before we start…
|Element Family||Alkaline Earth|
|Atomic Weight (Atom’s Average Mass)||9.012182(3)|
|Melting Point||1278°C or, 2348.6°F or, 1551.2 K|
|Boiling Point||2469°C or, 4479.8°F or, 2742 K|
|Density at 20°C||1.848 grams/cm3|
|Number of Electrons||4|
|Number of Protons||4|
|Number of Neutrons (In the Isotope Found Most Abundantly)||5|
|Most Stable Isotope||9Be: Natural Abundance – 100%|
|Element Structure||Hexagonal Close Packed (hcp)|
|Atomic Radius||112 pm (picometer)|
Okay, now that we have some important information about the element in hand, let us take a look at the facts that we intend to share with you. Let us start…
Interesting Beryllium Facts: 1-5
1. Though Beryllium is a relatively soft metal, it is actually hard and at room temperature, it is a brittle element.
2. Of all alkaline earth metals known to us, Beryllium is the lightest of all.
3. The metal sits on the 4th place on the period table but when it comes to abundance on Earth, it takes the 44th
4. Compared to steel’s specific stiffness, Beryllium’s specific stiffness is 6x more!
5. If we compare the density of Beryllium with Aluminum, Beryllium is less dense (only 2/3rd of that of Aluminum).
Interesting Beryllium Facts: 6-10
6. Thermal conductivity of Beryllium is extremely high. When this metal is exposed to concentrated Nitric Acid, nothing happens. This means that it is immune to attacks of this acid.
7. Beryllium is not at all magnetic. It is because of this property that radar systems and radios are fine-tuned using this metal.
8. The reason why Beryllium is resistant to concentrated nitric acid is that when left in air, Beryllium reacts with air forming a thin film of BeO – a hard oxide of the metal – on the metal’s surface. It is this BeO that prevents the corrosion.
9. Beryllium is widely used in nuclear reactors as moderator, neutron absorber, shield and reflector.
10. In order to make spark-proof tools, an alloy of Copper and Beryllium is used.
Interesting Beryllium Facts: 11-15
11. Because of its relative transparency to X-Rays, Beryllium is used as foils on X-Ray emitter windows.
12. International Agency for Research on Cancer has said that Beryllium is carcinogenic and that prolonged exposure to this element can lead to lung cancer. This means that those people who are involved in Beryllium mining are in greater danger.
13. This element is very toxic and hence, one should not try to taste this element. However, if you are inclined on knowing how it actually tastes then, it has a ‘sweet’ taste. This was found by the person who discovered the element.
14. The mirrors that are used in James Webb Telescope of NASA actually have Beryllium as the main ingredient.
15. James Chadwick used alpha particles for bombarding Beryllium and in the process, discovered Neutrons. He noticed that sub-atomic particles were released when alpha particles bombarded the element. These sub-atomic particles were electrically neutral!
Interesting Beryllium Facts: 16-20
16. Beryllium Science & Technology Association says that cellphones, cameras and other portable devices that we use on a regular basis use materials that contain Beryllium.
17. European Commission has a list of critical raw materials. The list contains 20 materials and Beryllium is one of them.
18. US Geological Survey says that Beryllium is considered as a critical and strategic material by US Department of Defense. The reason is that products that the Defense Department considers important for US National Security contain Beryllium.
19. Beryllium Science & Technology Association says that those equipment that are used HIV and other diseases’ blood test have parts that are made of beryllium.
20. Kazakhstan, America and China are the only three countries in this world that produce Beryllium on industrial scale.