Beryllium/ Be

By: Mya Aviles

What is Beryllium

Beryllium is a strong grey metal that is stronger than steel and lighter than aluminum. Beryllium can be used in three different forms: as beryllium oxide, pure metal, and also as a compound with copper, aluminum, magnesium, or nickel. Beryllium Oxide is a space age technical ceramic material that gives combinations of desirable properties not found in any other ceramic material. Beryllium makes it possible to have x-rays and nuclear applications . When Beryllium is added to copper it develops high heat resistance, improved corrosion resistance, great hardness, etc. When Beryllium is added to nickel it makes springs, spot-welding, and non- sparking tools. Beryllium can be used in many useful ways.

Beryllium was discovered in France by a man named Rene Hauy in 1798. He saw similarities in crystal structures and properties of beryl and emerald. Rene wondered if beryl and emerald could make the same elements even though they were different colors. Hauy met up with a French chemist ,Louis Vauqelin, who was an analysis, and asked him to take a look. Louis Vauquelin made a sweet-tasting substance with both the emerald and beryl. They changed this sweet-tasting substance beryllia ,BeO, because of how highly toxic berylliums compounds are.

Pure beryllium was isolated from its salts in 1828 by Friederich Wohler. Wohler became unhappy with the name the new element was given so he preferred calling it beryllium from the Greek word "beryllos." Martin Klaproth ,Wohler's countryman, pointed out that ytria forms sweet salts, and would less likely cause confusion. Finally in 1949 beryllium was the element's official name decided by IUPAC. This element played a large part in the existence of neutrons. An English Physicist , James Chadwick, bombarded a sample of beryllium with helium nuclei. He found that the sample discharged subatomic particles that had no charge, but had mass. This particle with no charge is called neutrons.

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