Cesium

By Micah Schafer

Overview

Cesium is an alkali metal and element that appears on the periodic table of elements. Cesium is a golden-colored soft metal that turns to liquid at 28 degrees Celsius making it one of only three metals that are liquid at room temperature. Cesium is highly reactive and will explode if placed in water and also in many other circumstances.

Physical Properties

Cesium is a metal but it is very soft, meaning it's hardness is low. It is very malleable, however if you try hitting it with a hammer, it would probably explode. Compared to other elements on the periodic table, Cesium is not very dense at only 1.879 g/cm squared. Cesium will melt at only 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit) but will boil at 671 degrees Celsius (1239 degrees Fahrenheit). Cesium's atomic mass is 132.9, and it's atomic radius is 343 pm.

Chemical Properties

Cesium is very reactive. It very readily reacts and explodes if it comes into contact with water or ice at even the low temperature of -116 degrees Celsius. Cesium is also pyrophoric, meaning it is very likely to combust if exposed to air or water.

History

Cesium was discovered by German Chemists, Robert Wilhelm Bunsen and Gustav Robert Kirchhoff, in 1860 in Heidelberg, Germany while they were analyzing mineral water. They named Cesium after the Latin word "Caesius" which means bluish-gray.
Big image

Periodic table information

Cesium is found on the periodic table in the far left column under the abbreviation Cs. The atomic number for cesium is 55 which means a cesium atom has 55 protons as well as 55 electrons no matter the isotope. It's Atomic mass is 132.9, and a regular cesium atom would contain 78 neutrons.

Uses and applications for Cesium

Cesium is used as a component in an atomic clock, which is a clock that is just about as accurate a clock that the human race can engineer; it is used as the time for phone networks and GPS systems. Cesium is also used in drilling fluid, as well as special optic glass, vacuum tubes, and radiation monitoring systems. One place where one could find Cesium is in the minerals, Commpollucite and Lepidolite. Cesium is abundantly found in Canada and the USA.