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2 Interesting Facts about Period 6 Elements

2 Interesting Facts about Period 6 Elements

Riddhi Bhattacharya

Welcome to part 5 in the Chemical Element Facts Series! Discover interesting facts about period 6 chemical elements in the periodic table and embark on a chemical journey!

55. Facts – Caesium

Caesium Facts
  • Because cesium reacts violently with water, it is treated as a hazardous material and is often kept under a layer of kerosene or mineral oil or in a vacuum to prevent it from reacting and igniting due to the moisture in the air. According to Encyclopedia.com, cesium also reacts violently with sulfur, phosphorous, acids, and halogens (fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine and astatine).
  •  Humans and animals are constantly exposed to trace amounts of caesium when eating, breathing and drinking. While it is unlikely that people will experience adverse health effects just due to the cesium, exposure to radioactive cesium or certain cesium compounds can lead to adverse health effects including nausea, vomiting, bleeding and cell damage.

56. Facts – Barium

Barium Facts
  • Barium in barite mineral form was part of ancient witchcraft or folklore because the stones would glow after exposure to light.
  • One radioactive isotope, Ba-130, has such a long half-life that it was only recently discovered through geochemical methods to be radioactive.

72. Facts – Hafnium

hafnium Facts
  • English chemist Henry Moseley was the scientist who realized that Georges Urbain’s element “celtium” was not the true element located under zirconium. Unfortunately, World War I interrupted this young scientist’s important research. Moseley dutifully enlisted in the Royal Engineers of the British Army and was killed by a sniper in 1915.
  • The nuclear isomer of hafnium has long been debated as a potential weapon. In the Hafnium Controversy, scientists debate whether the element is capable of triggering a rapid release of energy.

73. Facts – Tantalum

Tantalum Facts
  • There are a wide variety of minerals that contain tantalum, but only five that are viable for commercial uses at the present: euxenite, microlite, polycrase, tantalite, and wodginite.
  • Due to tantalum’s high density, gravitational separation is the most common way to extract the element from minerals.

74. Facts – Tungsten

Tungsten Facts
  • The element name wolfram came from the name of the ore, wolframite, which derives from the German wolf’s rahm, which means “wolf’s foam”. It got this name because European tin smelters noticed the presence of wolframite in tin ore reduced the tin yield, appearing to eat tin like a wolf would devour sheep.
  • Tungsten has the highest melting point of the metals (6191.6 °F or 3422 °C), lowest vapor pressure, and the highest tensile strength. Its density is comparable to that of gold and uranium and 1.7 times higher than that of lead.

75. Facts – Rhenium

Barium Facts
  • The credit for rhenium’s discovery is typically awarded to Walter Noddack, Ida Tacke Noddack, and Otto Berg in 1925. The trio named the element after the Rhine River in Germany.
  • Rhenium has the third-highest melting point and the highest boiling point of any element.

76. Facts – Osmium

Osmium Facts
  • The discovery of osmium is linked to the discovery of platinum, since osmium is the black residue left over after platinum is dissolved in aqua regia.
  • Osmium readily forms osmium tetroxide, which is highly toxic through inhalation, skin contact, or ingestion.

77. Facts – Iridium

Iridium Facts
  • Rudolf Mossbauer won the Nobel Prize for Physics for the discovery of what is known as the Mossbauer Effect, often called one of the greatest physics experiments of the 20th century.
  • The largest meteorite ever to land in North America, the Willamette Meteorite, contains a comparably vast concentration of iridium, at 4.7 parts per million.

78. Facts – Platinum

Platinum Facts
  • A cylindrical hunk of platinum and platinum alloy is used as the international standard for measuring a kilogram. In the 1880s, about 40 of these cylinders, which weigh about 2.2 lbs. or 1 kilogram, were distributed around the world.
  • Platinum is used in several anti-cancer drugs because of its very low reactivity levels. About 50 percent of cancer therapy patients currently use platinum-containing drugs, according to a 2014 study by Johnstone, Park, and Lippard Some of these drugs, such as cisplatin, are also used to treat tumors and cancer in animals.

79. Facts – Gold

Gold Facts
  • The element symbol for gold—Au—comes from the old Latin name for gold, aurum, which means “shining dawn” or “glow of sunrise.” The word gold comes from the Germanic languages, originating from the Proto-Germanic gulþ and Proto-Indo-European ghel, meaning “yellow/green.” The pure element has been known since ancient times.
  • Nearly all the gold on Earth came from meteorites that bombarded the planet over 200 million years after it formed.

80. Facts – Mercury

Mercury Facts
  • Mercury was the primary means of treatment for syphilis until the early 20th century. It was used in the form of pills, calomel, ointments and steam baths. The side effects of this toxic “treatment” included tooth loss, ulcerations, neurological damage and even death.
  • Mercury constitutes just 0.5 ppm of the Earth’s crust, which means that it is scarcer than uranium but more abundant than gold or silver, according to CNR.

81. Facts – Thallium

Thallium Facts
  • This toxicity actually gave thallium historic importance as a murder weapon, earning the nickname “inheritance powder.”
  • Thallium is typically very lustrous, but tarnishes very quickly in the presence of oxygen. The layer of oxidation builds up with a blue-grayish color, causing thallium to resemble lead.

82. Facts – Lead

Lead Facts
  • Lead is one of the metals that was known to ancient man. It is sometimes called the first metal (although the ancients also knew gold silver, and other metals). Alchemists associated the metal with the planet Saturn and quested for a way to transmute lead into gold.
  • Over half the lead produced today is used in lead-acid car batteries. While lead does occur (rarely) in nature in its pure form, most of the lead produced today comes from recycled batteries. Lead is found in the mineral galena (PbS) and ores of copper, zinc, and silver. 

83. Facts – Bismuth

  • Bismuth crystals grow in an odd, staircase-shaped formation due to a greater growth rate on its outside edges than on the inside.
  • One of bismuth’s isotopes, Bi-209, was once believed to be the heaviest stable isotope in existence, but it was proven in 2003 that this isotope actually does decay.

84. Facts – Polonium

  • Polonium is of little use to humans, with the exception of some menacing applications: It was used as a trigger in the first atomic bomb and is also a suspected poison in a couple of high-profile deaths.
  • Extracting polonium was challenging because there was such a miniscule amount; 1 ton of uranium ore contains only about 100 micrograms (0.0001 grams) of polonium.

85. Facts – Astatine

  • Astatine is the rarest element, other than the transuranic elements (those with a higher atomic number than uranium).
  • Astatine was once believed to be the rarest element on Earth, prior to the discovery of berkelium in 1949; since that time less than two grams of the element have ever been produced.

86. Facts – Radon

  • Radon gas is colorless, but it exudes a brilliant yellow phosphorescence (light emitted from a substance without perceptible heat) at temperatures below its freezing point.
  • Hundreds of years ago, a wasting disease of miners was known as mala metallorum. In 1879, the condition was identified as lung cancer caused by exposure to radioactive substances, including uranium and radon.

Other Articles in this Series:

Lead is one of the metals that was known to ancient man. It is sometimes called the first metal (although the ancients also knew gold silver and other metals). Alchemists associated the metal with the planet Saturn and quested for a way to transmute lead into gold. Over half the lead produced today is used in lead-acid car batteries. While lead does occur (rarely) in nature in its pure form, most of the lead produced today comes from recycled batteries. Lead is found in the mineral galena (PbS) and ores of copper, zinc, and silver. 

Lead is one of the metals that was known to ancient man. It is sometimes called the first metal (although the ancients also knew gold silver and other metals). Alchemists associated the metal with the planet Saturn and quested for a way to transmute lead into gold. Over half the lead produced today is used in lead-acid car batteries. While lead does occur (rarely) in nature in its pure form, most of the lead produced today comes from recycled batteries. Lead is found in the mineral galena (PbS) and ores of copper, zinc, and silver. 

Lead is one of the metals that was known to ancient man. It is sometimes called the first metal (although the ancients also knew gold silver and other metals). Alchemists associated the metal with the planet Saturn and quested for a way to transmute lead into gold. Over half the lead produced today is used in lead-acid car batteries. While lead does occur (rarely) in nature in its pure form, most of the lead produced today comes from recycled batteries. Lead is found in the mineral galena (PbS) and ores of copper, zinc, and silver. 

Lead is one of the metals that was known to ancient man. It is sometimes called the first metal (although the ancients also knew gold silver and other metals). Alchemists associated the metal with the planet Saturn and quested for a way to transmute lead into gold. Over half the lead produced today is used in lead-acid car batteries. While lead does occur (rarely) in nature in its pure form, most of the lead produced today comes from recycled batteries. Lead is found in the mineral galena (PbS) and ores of copper, zinc, and silver. 

facts facts Lead is one of the metals that was known to ancient man. It is sometimes called the first metal (although the ancients also knew gold silver and other metals). Alchemists associated the metal with the planet Saturn and quested for a way to transmute lead into gold. Over half the lead produced today is used in lead-acid car batteries. While lead does occur (rarely) in nature in its pure form, most of the lead produced today comes from recycled batteries. Lead is found in the mineral galena (PbS) and ores of copper, zinc, and silver.  Fcats

facts facts Lead is one of the metals that was known to ancient man. It is sometimes called the first metal (although the ancients also knew gold silver and other metals). Alchemists associated the metal with the planet Saturn and quested for a way to transmute lead into gold. Over half the lead produced today is used in lead-acid car batteries. While lead does occur (rarely) in nature in its pure form, most of the lead produced today comes from recycled batteries. Lead is found in the mineral galena (PbS) and ores of copper, zinc, and silver.  Fcats

facts facts Lead is one of the metals that was known to ancient man. It is sometimes called the first metal (although the ancients also knew gold silver and other metals). Alchemists associated the metal with the planet Saturn and quested for a way to transmute lead into gold. Over half the lead produced today is used in lead-acid car batteries. While lead does occur (rarely) in nature in its pure form, most of the lead produced today comes from recycled batteries. Lead is found in the mineral galena (PbS) and ores of copper, zinc, and silver.  Fcats

facts facts Lead is one of the metals that was known to ancient man. It is sometimes called the first metal (although the ancients also knew gold silver and other metals). Alchemists associated the metal with the planet Saturn and quested for a way to transmute lead into gold. Over half the lead produced today is used in lead-acid car batteries. While lead does occur (rarely) in nature in its pure form, most of the lead produced today comes from recycled batteries. Lead is found in the mineral galena (PbS) and ores of copper, zinc, and silver.  Fcats

facts facts Lead is one of the metals that was known to ancient man. It is sometimes called the first metal (although the ancients also knew gold silver and other metals). Alchemists associated the metal with the planet Saturn and quested for a way to transmute lead into gold. Over half the lead produced today is used in lead-acid car batteries. While lead does occur (rarely) in nature in its pure form, most of the lead produced today comes from recycled batteries. Lead is found in the mineral galena (PbS) and ores of copper, zinc, and silver.  Fcats

facts facts Lead is one of the metals that was known to ancient man. It is sometimes called the first metal (although the ancients also knew gold silver and other metals). Alchemists associated the metal with the planet Saturn and quested for a way to transmute lead into gold. Over half the lead produced today is used in lead-acid car batteries. While lead does occur (rarely) in nature in its pure form, most of the lead produced today comes from recycled batteries. Lead is found in the mineral galena (PbS) and ores of copper, zinc, and silver.  Fcats

facts facts Lead is one of the metals that was known to ancient man. It is sometimes called the first metal (although the ancients also knew gold silver and other metals). Alchemists associated the metal with the planet Saturn and quested for a way to transmute lead into gold. Over half the lead produced today is used in lead-acid car batteries. While lead does occur (rarely) in nature in its pure form, most of the lead produced today comes from recycled batteries. Lead is found in the mineral galena (PbS) and ores of copper, zinc, and silver.  Fcats

Lead is one of the metals that was known to ancient man. It is sometimes called the first metal (although the ancients also knew gold silver and other metals). Alchemists associated the metal with the planet Saturn and quested for a way to transmute lead into gold. Over half the lead produced today is used in lead-acid car batteries. While lead does occur (rarely) in nature in its pure form, most of the lead produced today comes from recycled batteries. Lead is found in the mineral galena (PbS) and ores of copper, zinc, and silver.  Fcats

Lead is one of the metals that was known to ancient man. It is sometimes called the first metal (although the ancients also knew gold silver and other metals). Alchemists associated the metal with the planet Saturn and quested for a way to transmute lead into gold. Over half the lead produced today is used in lead-acid car batteries. While lead does occur (rarely) in nature in its pure form, most of the lead produced today comes from recycled batteries. Lead is found in the mineral galena (PbS) and ores of copper, zinc, and silver.  Fcats

Lead is one of the metals that was known to ancient man. It is sometimes called the first metal (although the ancients also knew gold silver and other metals). Alchemists associated the metal with the planet Saturn and quested for a way to transmute lead into gold. Over half the lead produced today is used in lead-acid car batteries. While lead does occur (rarely) in nature in its pure form, most of the lead produced today comes from recycled batteries. Lead is found in the mineral galena (PbS) and ores of copper, zinc, and silver.  Fcats

Lead is one of the metals that was known to ancient man. It is sometimes called the first metal (although the ancients also knew gold silver and other metals). Alchemists associated the metal with the planet Saturn and quested for a way to transmute lead into gold. Over half the lead produced today is used in lead-acid car batteries. While lead does occur (rarely) in nature in its pure form, most of the lead produced today comes from recycled batteries. Lead is found in the mineral galena (PbS) and ores of copper, zinc, and silver. 

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