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Element Properties: 39-45 atomic number

YTTRIUM, ZIRCONIUM, NIOBIUM, MOLYBDENUM, RUTHENIUM, RHODIUM

YTTRIUM

Atomic symbol: Y

Atomic weight: 88.90585

Atomic number: 39

Electron configuration: 2-8-18-9-2

Oxidation states: +3

State of matter: solid

Heavy metal, brittle

Discovered in 1794 by Johan Gadolin

Boils at 3337°C, melts at 1529°C

Notes:

Yttrium is an iron gray, lustrous, and darkens when exposed to light. It is used for red phosphorous in televisions. It is ductile and fairly reactive. Yttrium is the first rare earth element discovered, and can occur as a byproduct of nuclear fission. It is an important element in the high-tech superconductor yttrium barium copper oxide.

 

ZIRCONIUM

Atomic symbol: Zr

Atomic weight: 91.224

Atomic number: 40

Electron configuration: 2-8-18-10-2

Oxidation states: +4

State of matter: solid

Heavy metal, brittle

Discovered in 1824 by Jöns Jacob Berzelius

Boils at 3578°C, melts at 1852°C

Notes:

Zirconium is a bluish-black amorphous powder, or a grayish-white lustrous metal. It is characteristically found in s-type stars. Pure zirconium is a valuable structural material for atomic reactors because of its low nuclear cross- section and high corrosion and heat resistance. It is also used as an ingredient of priming or explosive mixtures, flashlight powders, a deoxidizer in metallurgy, and in flash bulbs.

 

NIOBIUM

Atomic symbol: Nb

Atomic weight: 92.90638

Atomic number: 41

Electron configuration: 2-8-18-12-1

Oxidation states: +3, +5

State of matter: solid

Heavy metal, brittle

Discovered in 1801 by Charles Hatchett

Boils at 4927°C, melts at 2468°C

Notes:

Niobium is a steel gray lustrous metal that is malleable and ductile when in pure form. It is used in alloys, tools, dyes, and superconductive magnets. Niobium is quite corrosion resistant but needs protection from oxidation at temperatures in excess of 400°C.

 

MOLYBDENUM

Atomic symbol: Mo

Atomic weight: 95.94

Atomic number: 42

Electron configuration: 2-8-18-13-1

Oxidation states: +6

State of matter: solid

Heavy metal, ductile

Discovered in 1782 by Peter Jacob Hjelm

Boils at 5560°C, melts at 2610°C

Notes:

Molybdenum is a dark gray or black powder with metallic luster, and is not found free in nature. Its properties resemble that of tungsten. The major use of this element is in strengthening and protecting against corrosion as an alloy.

 

RUTHENIUM

Atomic symbol: Ru

Atomic weight: 101.7

Atomic number: 44

Electron configuration: 2-8-18-15-1

Oxidation states: +3

State of matter: solid

Heavy metal, ductile

Discovered in 1844 by Karl Karlovich Klaus

Boils at 3900°C, melts at 2250°C

Notes:

Ruthenium is a lustrous silver-gray, hard metal that does not react with acids and is not oxidized by air in the cold. It looks similar to platinum but is harder, more brittle, and much rarer. Upon heating it combines readily with oxygen. It is useful in hardening platinum and palladium as an alloy. Ruthenium is found among the fission outputs of uranium and plutonium in nuclear reactors. Ruthenium has four allotropic forms. The metal doesn’t tarnish in air at normal temperatures and resists attack by many strong acids.

 

RHODIUM

Atomic symbol: Rh

Atomic weight: 102.90550

Atomic number: 45

Electron configuration: 2-8-18-16-1

Oxidation states: 3

State of matter: solid

Heavy metal, ductile

Discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston

Boils at 3272°C, melts at 1966°C

Notes:

Rhodium is a silvery white, soft, ductile, malleable metal. Its primary use is as an alloying agent for hardening platinum. It is not corroded or tarnished in the atmosphere at room temperature, and it is highly resisted to attack by acids.



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