Fluorine (F)

The element Fluorine - Basic information

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Fact file

  • Atomic number: 9
  • Atomic weight: 18.998
  • Classification: Non-metal
  • Period number: 2
  • Group number: 17 (Halogen)

History

  • Fluorine was mentioned first in 1670 when instructions were written regarding its use to etch glass
  • Chemists had suspected the presence of an unknown element in the compound fluoric acid
  • Joseph Henri Moissan was the first chemist that was able to isolate Fluorine using platinum electrodes in 1886
  • The name originates from the Latin word 'fluo' meaning flow

Characteristics

  • Fluorine's most notable characteristic is that it is the most reactive of all the elements.
  • It is also the most electronegative of the elements, meaning that it attracts electrons towards itself.
  • In standard conditions fluorine forms a gas made up of two fluorine atoms called a diatomic gas. It is pale greenish-yellow in color with a pungent odor.
  • Fluorine is toxic for humans and very corrosive. Many of the reactions with fluorine are sudden and explosive.
  • Fluorine will burn all sorts of compounds and elements including water, copper, gold, and steel.

Uses of Fluorine

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