Platinum (Pt)

By Abby Romig

Chemical & Physical Properties

Platinum has an atomic mass of 195.078, an atomic radius of 177pm, and a density of 21.090g/cc. Its melting point is 1768.3°C and its boiling point is 3825°C. At room temperature, platinum is a solid. It is a shiny, silver-white metal as resistant to corrosion as gold. Pure platinum is not a good conductor of heat, and it is malleable, making it a good metal to use as jewelry. On the Mohs Hardness Scale, Platinum is about 4.3. Platinum is the most ductile of all metals, which means it is able to be drawn out into a thin wire. Platinum is not flammable, and it does not normally react with air or oxygen. It is the least reactive metal.
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Identifying Information

Atomic Number: 78

Mass Number: 195

Protons: 78

Neutrons: 117

Electrons:78


Platinum is a transition metal and is a member of group 10 of the periodic table of elements.

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History & Discovery

Platinum was initially discovered by South Americans in mines between Panama and Mexico, however, Antonio de Ulloa often gets the credit because he was the first person to provide a detailed report on platinum. He discovered platinum in Peru in 1735.
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Applications & Uses

Pure platinum mesh, like mosquito netting except more expensive, is one example of platinum's use as labware immune to nearly all chemical attack. It is also used in coins, which are similarly expensive. Platinum can occur free in nature and is sometimes found in deposits of gold-bearing sands, especially those found in the Ural mountains, Columbia and the western United States. It is often found in Russia and it is still mined in South Africa. Platinum is most commonly used for jewelry, such as rings.
How Platinum Rings Are Made

Isotypes & Compounds

Platinum has five main isotypes. Pt-196 is used in experiments to test nuclear models. Both Pt-194 and Pt-196 have been used in research into dipole strength and models. Pt-195 is used for the production of the radioisotope Pt-195m which is used for cancer diagnosis and therapy. Pt-198 is used for the production of the radioisotope for Au-199 which is used in cancer therapy. Pt-194 is also used for the production of the medical radioisotopes Hg-195m.


Platinum is often combined with Iridium, Ruthenium, and Cobalt to make jewelry.

Fun Facts

1. Platinum was discovered by Don Antonio de Ulloa on during his trip to New Spain in 1735 to mine for gold. On this trip he noticed some black sand. This heavy sand was platinum, he gave the send the name Platina del Pinto meaning "little silver of the river Pinto" this is where the name comes from.


2. The world's famous diamonds, including the Hope, Jonker I, and Koh-I-Noor, are secured by Platinum.


3. Platinum is the rarest and heaviest of the precious metals. All of the Platinum ever mined would fit in the average size living room.


4. When World War II began, the U.S. government declared Platinum a strategic metal and its use in non-military applications, including jewelry, was disallowed.

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.

- Los Alamos Periodic Table: http://periodic.lanl.gov/1.shtml

- Royal Society of Chemistry Periodic Table: http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/1/hydrogen