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Energy

What is Energy? When you hear this word, you probably think of it as the opposite of when you are tired. If you feel wide awake and able to do a lot of physical or mental activities, we say that we “have energy.” In fact, the term energy in science is described as the ability to do work or cause a change. That makes sense, actually, because if you have a lot of energy, you can definitely get some ... »

Scandium

Scandium

What is Scandium? Scandium is a soft, silvery transition metal. It reacts slowly in air and can be dissolved in dilute acids. When it reacts with air it produces a yellowish pink layer of tarnish. It reacts to form hydroxides, oxides, and halides, and it usually donates its three electrons. It is commonly used in alloys of aluminum in aircrafts and sporting equipment. Compounds of scandium can be ... »

Erbium

Erbium

What is Erbium? Erbium is a lanthanide metal that is solid, silvery-white in its pure form. However, it is not found on Earth in a pure form. Like all rare earth elements, it is always found in minerals that contain other rare earth elements, such as yttrium, terbium, ytterbium, and dysprosium. It has intermediate reactivity. Erbium has no known biological role and is slightly toxic in its pure fo... »

Neptunium

Neptunium

What is Neptunium? Neptunium is a silvery metal of the actinide group of elements. The radioactive decay of uranium produces neptunium as a fission product, so neptunium is usually found in trace amounts associated with uranium ores. It is also produced as a by-product of nuclear fission reactions at nuclear power plants. It has no known biological role but is toxic and can accumulate in tissues o... »

Plutonium

Plutonium

What is Plutonium? Plutonium is a solid metal with a silvery gray appearance. It is a member of the actinide group of metals. Plutonium has no stable isotopes and is found in nature as a product of the radioactive decay of uranium. It is the heaviest element that exists in nature. When exposed to air, pure plutonium forms a surface layer of explosive oxides and hydrides. Plutonium has no known bio... »

Iron

Iron

What is Iron? Iron is a transition metal that is soft in its pure form but useful in making hard metal alloys. It is the most abundant element on Earth because it makes a large portion of the Earth’s core. Pure iron is very rare because it reacts easily with oxygen and water in the environment. This makes iron very susceptible to corrosion, forming a characteristic red rust. IIron is an intermedia... »

Strontium

Strontium

What is Strontium? Strontium is an alkaline earth metal. It is soft, silvery-yellow, and metallic in appearance. It is highly reactive and found on Earth combined with sulfate and carbonate minerals.  Strontium is used in fireworks, toothpaste, x-ray filters, and geology research. Strontium is not an essential element for humans but it has properties similar to calcium, so it is incorporated into ... »

Copper

Copper

What is Copper? Copper is a transition metal that is soft, malleable, and ductile. In its pure form, it is metallic, shiny, and orange in appearance. It exists on Earth as a native metal, which means that it can be found in its pure forms. It has properties similar to silver and gold but is much more abundant, making it widely useful for electrical wires and cables, and alloys such as brass and br... »

Rhodium

Rhodium

What is Rhodium? Rhodium is a precious, transition metal that is hard and silvery in appearance. Precious metals are rare and valuable, and rhodium is one of the rarest elements on Earth. It is also known as a noble metal because it does not corrode or oxidize easily in air. It is used as a catalyst for chemical reactions with many industrial applications. As a precious metal, it is used in the fa... »

Indium

Indium

What is Indium? Indium is a post-transition metal that is soft, malleable, and silvery gray. It is so soft that it can be cut with a knife. It is commonly used to lower the melting point of alloys, to add transparent coating on glass that conducts electricity, and LCD displays.   Indium’s Place in the Periodic Table Indium is a post-transition metal in group 13 and period 6. Post-transi... »