Gallium Facts

Gallium Facts
Gallium (Ga) is a soft, poor metal with an atomic number of thirty-one. Its existence was only predicted by Mendeleev in 1871, based on where he thought it should fit in his newly created periodic table.
Interesting Gallium Facts:
Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran discovered gallium in 1875 using a spectroscope.
He later isolated the metal by electrolysis.
Some of the alloys of gallium with other metals are liquid at room temperature.
This property made gallium an early metal for thermometric uses.
Now, gallium is primarily important for microelectronics, specifically microwaves.
Gallium is also used to produce blue or violet LEDs.
Gallium does not occur in its natural elemental state, but is extracted from several minerals.
Once it is extracted, its purest form has an intense silver color.
When gallium is added to many metals, such as steel, it causes them to become brittle.
Gallium actually alloys quite readily to other metals.
One of gallium's most interesting properties is its ability to be a liquid when held in a human hand.
It then refreezes when removed from the hand.
Gallium often supercool below its melting and freezing points.
Because of its state at normal temperatures, gallium is used as a reference point in the International Temperature Scale of 1990.
Of all the metals, gallium has one of the largest ranges in which it is a liquid.
Gallium does not react with air or water because of its oxide layer.
Gallium is present on Earth at around 16.9 parts per million.
Today, the main role of gallium in industry is in building semiconductors.
Semiconductors account for about 98% of the gallium use in the US alone.
Gallium does not seem to play a role in plant or animal biology.
Gallium salts are used in the pharmaceutical and radiopharmaceutical industries.
Gallium ions appear to have antibiotic properties, causing bacteria to die.
Researchers are currently studying the oral intake of gallium for the treatment of several cancers.

Related Links:
Periodic Table Facts
Animals Facts