Gallium

By: Chebet Buckner

Basic Information

  • Has 31 protons.
  • Has 31 electrons when balanced.
  • It has 30 isotopes, but only 2 are stable: gallium-69 and gallium-71. Two other isotopes are utilized by humans and they are gallium-67 and gallium-68.

Electron Configuration

1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p1

Physical Properties

  1. In it's liquid form it sticks to wet glass and other similar surfaces.
  2. Pure gallium has a brilliant silvery color.
  3. One of the few metals that is liquid at room temperature.
  4. It is soft enough to be cut with a knife.
  5. Brittle when completely solid.
  6. It's melting temperature is so low that it melts when held in a human hand (29.8 C)
Melting gallium key on hand time lapse

Chemical Properties

  1. Nonreactive towards air and water at room temperature.
  2. Has an electronegativity of 1,81
  3. Not flammable
  4. Will tarnish in moist air
  5. Corrosive to aluminum
Gallium Induced Structural Failure of a Coke Can

Examples of Chemical Reactions With a Non-Metal

Gallium nitride is formed when gallium chemically reacts with nitrogen (N). A crystal is formed, which allows it to have many applications. For example, the compound is used to read Blu-ray Discs.

Fun Facts!

  1. Some alloys are used in thermometers to replace mercury.
  2. Its' name comes from the Latin word "gallia", meaning France.
  3. It is used to produce blue or violet LED's.
  4. The element has to be extracted in trace amounts from other elements since it doesn't occur naturally on it's own.
  5. Ions of gallium can be used as antibiotics.
  6. A gram of gallium can be bought for $3.
  7. Gallium is widely used in many electronics.
  8. Gallium is used in nuclear weapons. It is combined with plutonium because it stabilizes the plutonium and protects the plutonium from corrosion.