Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Element #4

And now, the fourth element on the periodic table, weighing in at 9.012 g/mol, it's time to welcome the lovely Beryllium!

Okay, I only say that because it has a cool name. Just say it. "Beryllium". Doesn't it just flow nicely?

Beryllium has the interesting property of being the first carcinogenic element. In powdered form, if you breathe it in, you're screwed. And yet many people are around Beryllium powder every day. Why? Because it is one of the strongest and lightest metals, which makes it invaluble for things that have to be, well, strong and light (think missiles). Beryllium oxide has the strange combination of being an insulator for electricity but a conductor for heat. Some spark plugs have beryllium oxide in them.

There's really not too much more to say about beryllium. It's a pretty interesting element, but I haven't had any personal experience with it (just wait until I get into the non-metals).


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