CALCIUM (Ca)

BY: NATALIE ZIMMERMAN

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PROPERTIES

Atomic Mass: 40.078

Atomic Radius in picometers (pm): 194pm

Density: 1.550 g

Melting Point: 842°C (1,548°F)

Boiling Point: 1,484°C (2,703°F)

At room temperature (22°C), this element is a: Solid

Appearance: Hard, silvery metal

Conductivity: 2.9×107 S/m

Malleability: Capable of being dented or bent

Hardness: Soft

Flammability: When heated in air or in oxygen it ignites

Reactivity: Highly reactive to acids, slightly reactive to water

HOW CALCIUM WAS DISCOVERED

Calcium metal was not isolated until 1808. After learning that Berzelius and Pontin prepared calcium amalgam by electrolysing lime in mercury, Sir Humphry Davy was able to isolate the impure metal. He did this by the electrolysis of a mixture of lime and mercuric oxide (HgO).

CALCIUM APPLICATIONS AND USES

Calcium is used as a reducing agent in preparing other metals such as thorium and uranium, an alloying agent for aluminum, beryllium, copper, lead and magnesium alloys, building stone, cement, to make limestone, soil conditioner, and water softener. It is most often found in leaves, bones, teeth, and shells. Calcium is the fifth most abundant element in the earth's crust and makes up more than 3% of the crust. It is also found in various minerals including limestone, gypsum and fluorite.Calcium is used as a reducing agent in preparing other metals such as thorium and uranium, an alloying agent for aluminum, beryllium, copper, lead and magnesium alloys, building stone, cement, to make limestone, soil conditioner, and water softener. It is most often found in leaves, bones, teeth, and shells. Calcium is the fifth most abundant element in the earth's crust and makes up more than 3% of the crust. It is also found in various minerals including limestone, gypsum and fluorite.

SOURCES

- Element Card: Gray, Theodore W. (2008). The Photographic Card Deck of the Elements.

- Elements Book: Gray, Theodore W. (2009). The Elements: A visual exploration of every known atom in the universe. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.

- Royal Society of Chemistry Periodic Table: http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/20/calcium

- Periodic Table.com: http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/20/calcium