Copper (Cu)

By: Dianna Elrod

Atomic Structure and Nucleus

Atomic Number: 29

Number of Electrons: 29

Number or Protons: 29

Number of Neutrons: 35

Electron Configuration: 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s1 3d9

Density of Copper: 8.94 g/cm^3

Atomic Mass: 63.546

Periodic Table

  • Transition metal
  • Group 11 (along with silver and gold)
  • Period 4
  • Silver shares similar properties to copper
  • 1.90 electronegativity (Pauling scale), pretty average

Physical Characteristics

Copper is used for:
  • Electricity conductor
  • Wire
  • Copper pipes
  • Pennies
  • Jewelry (clocks and watches)

Copper has a natural shiny orange/red coloring and has a red tarnish when it is exposed to air.

Copper is strong and easy to shape.

Copper is a solid at room temperature.

States of Matter

Solid at room temperature

Melting Point: 1084.62 °C

Boiling Point: 2562 °C

Chemical Characteristics

  • reacts with the oxygen in the air to create copper oxide
  • poisonous in large amounts
  • does not react with water
  • corrodes when exposed to air

Copper can form a variety of compounds using the copper ions copper (I) and copper (II).

Copper carbonate (green layer) is found on old construction such as the Statue of Liberty.

Copper reacts with acid.

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Copper Compounds

Common Copper Compounds:

  • Copper chloride (CuCl2)
  • Copper cyanide (CuCN) - electroplating
  • Cuprous chloride (CuCl) - absorbs carbon dioxide
  • Hydrated copper sulfate (CuSO4·H2O)

Energy Levels of Copper

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A list of all copper isotopes:

2 stable isotopes and 27 radioisotopes, most with half-lives under a minute

Cu-67 is the most stable, half-life of 2.6 days

Cu-54 is the least stable, half-life of 75 ns

Copper isotopes undergo beta decay and fission



Adding heat to the Cu and HCl reaction will speed up the reaction


Heat is given off in the reaction between copper and nitric acid

Types of Reactions

Synthesis: Copper oxide

Reduction and Oxidization: Copper and nitric acid reaction, copper is oxidized while nitrogen is reduced

Pressure and Volume

The smaller the amount of copper the higher the pressure.

The larger the amount of copper the lower the pressure.