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Beryllium (Be): Alkaline Earth Metals

Beryllium (Be)

What is Beryllium?

Beryllium (Be), formerly (until 1957) glucinium, chemical element, the lightest member of the alkaline-earth metals of Group 2 of the periodic table, used in metallurgy as a hardening agent and in many outer space and nuclear applications. Beryllium is a steel-gray metal that is quite brittle at room temperature, and its chemical properties somewhat resemble those of aluminum. It does not occur free in nature. Continue reading from Encyclopedia Britannica

The History

The gemstones beryl and emerald are both forms of beryllium aluminium silicate, Be3Al2(SiO3)6. The French mineralogist Abbé René-Just Haüy thought they might harbour a new element, and he asked Nicholas Louis Vauquelin, to analyse them and he realised they harboured a new metal and he investigated it. In February 1798 Vauquelin announced his discovery at the French Academy and named the element glaucinium (Greek glykys = sweet) because its compounds tasted sweet. Others preferred the name beryllium, based on the gemstone, and this is now the official name.

Beryllium metal was isolated in 1828 by Friedrich Wöhler at Berlin and independently by Antoine-Alexandere-Brutus Bussy at Paris, both of whom extracted it from beryllium chloride (BeCl2) by reacting this with potassium. Continue reading from Royal Society of Chemistry

Beryllium Facts

Beryllium played a role in the discovery of the neutron when James Chadwick bombarded beryllium with alpha particles and discovered the subatomic particle with no net electric charge.

The United States is the world’s leading beryllium source and producer. In fact, just one mine at Spor Mountain, Utah, was the source of more than 85 percent of beryllium excavated worldwide in 2010.

Beryllium-containing materials are used in cell phones, other portable devices and cameras.

Beryllium-containing materials are used in cell phones, other portable devices and cameras. Continue reading from LiveScience

Chart of Elemental Properties for Beryllium

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