Sydney Wientjes; Block 1


Francium is the most unstable element. It has 33 known isotopes, only one occurring naturally with a 22 minute half-life. Francium's melting point is 27 degrees Celsius, it's boiling point is 667 degrees Celsius. With an atomic weight of 223.02, it is the heaviest element in the alkalai metals group. It is difficult to examine the properties of Francium and it's isotopes because they are so reactive, so most examination is done through radiochemical techniques -- no amount of the element has ever been prepared or isolated. It is the least electronegative of all the known elements. Francium is found in small quantities in uranium minerals. There are only approximately 20-30g of it in the earth's crust at one time, making it the rarest element that occurs naturally.
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The mineral, Thorite, is used as the photo for Francium on the picture version of the periodic table, due to the extremely fleeting and difficult nature of Francium.
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This small sample of Uranium contains small samples of Francium inside which are quickly disappearing.
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Francium is extremely reactive, containing large amounts of electrons, the most reactive of the alkalai metals. If Francium was to be placed in water, the results would be extremely violent and explosive.
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Francium atoms can be trapped using a magnetic field and laser beams.

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