Metals and Metalloids

Metals and Metalloids

by Facts on File


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Periodic Table of the Elements is a six-volume set that explains not only how the elements were discovered and what their most prominent chemical and physical properties are but also the impact of discoveries on society and in science, including the fields of astrophysics, chemistry, and materials science. The books illustrate how the work of scientists has advanced our understanding of atomic theory and the nature of matter. Each volume highlights a group of related elements as they appear in the periodic table-at present, the elements from 1 through 118 (with the exception of element 117)-and provides basic information about each element, its role in history, the chemistry of the element, new issues involving the element, and the past, present, and future uses of the element.

Metals and Metalloids presents the current scientific understanding of the physics, chemistry, and geology of these two families of elements, including how they are synthesized in the universe, when and how they were discovered, and where they are found on Earth. The book explores how humans use and manipulate post-transition metals and metalloids and the resultant benefits and challenges to society. Sidebars throughout the book clarify fundamental concepts about the behavior of these elements and provide insight into the effects they have on science, technology, health, and medicine.

The volume includes information on

aluminum and gallium

arsenic and antimony


indium and thallium

lead and bismuth

silicon and germanium

tellurium and polonium


The book contains about 60 color photographs and line illustrations, sidebars, a chart of SI units and conversions, a list of acronyms, the Periodic Table of the Elements, a table of the elements arranged by category, a chronology, a glossary, a detailed list of print and Internet resources, and an index. Periodic Table of the Elements is essential for high school students, teachers, and general readers who wish to learn about the history of the periodic table and its impact on scientific findings of the past, present, and future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816073702
Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
Publication date: 05/01/2010
Series: Periodic Table of the Elements Series
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

Table of Contents

Preface viii

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

Overview: Chemistry and Physics Background xvii

Part 1 Post-transition Metals 1

Introduction to the Post-transition Metals 1

1 Aluminum 6

The Astrophysics of Aluminum 9

Discovery and Naming of Aluminum 11

The Chemistry of Aluminum 13

Energy Consumed in Aluminum Production 16

Aluminum Smelter Emissions 17

Transparent Alumina 19

Technology and Current Uses 19

2 Gallium 22

The Astrophysics of Gallium 23

Discovery and Naming of Gallium 25

The Chemistry of Gallium 26

Gallium in Semiconductors 27

The GALLEX Experiment 29

Technology and Current Uses 31

3 Indium and Thallium 32

The Astrophysics of Indium and Thallium 33

Discovery and Naming of Indium and Thallium 35

The Chemistry of Indium and Thallium 37

From Semiconducting to Superconducting 38

Thallium: A Legendary Poison 40

Technology and Current Uses 41

4 Tin 42

The Astrophysics of Tin 43

Discovery and Naming of Tin 45

Doubly Magic 46

The Chemistry of Tin 47

Making Bronze 50

Technology and Current Uses 50

5 Lead and Bismuth 53

The Astrophysics of Lead and Bismuth 56

The Radioactive Nature of Lead and Bismuth 57

Discovery and Naming of Lead and Bismuth 57

The Chemistry of Lead and Bismuth 59

The Cooling of Reactors 62

The Health Hazards of Lead 64

The Lead Storage Battery 66

Technology and Current Uses 68

Part 2 Metalloids 69

Introduction to the Metalloids 69

6 Boron 71

The Astrophysics of Boron 72

Discovery and Naming of Boron 73

The Chemistry of Boron 74

A High-Energy Fuel 76

Boron and Plant Nutrition 78

Technology and Current Uses 79

7 Silicon and Germanium 81

The Astrophysics of Silicon and Germanium 83

Discovery and Naming of Silicon and Germanium 84

The Chemistry of Silicon and Germanium 85

Sand and Glass 88

Silicon-Germanium Semiconductors 89

Technology and Current Uses 91

8 Arsenic and Antimony 92

Discovery and Naming of Arsenic and Antimony 94

The Chemistry of Arsenic and Antimony 96

Arsenic: A Legendary Poison 99

Flameproofing with Antimony 102

Technology and Current Uses 103

9 Tellurium and Polonium 104

Rare Elements 106

The Discovery and Naming of Tellurium and Polonium 106

Tellurium in Semiconductors 108

The Litvinenko Poisoning 110

Technology and Current Uses 111

10 Conclusions and Future Directions 112

Speculations on Further Developments 112

New Physics 113

New Chemistry 114

SI Units and Conversions 116

List of Acronyms 118

Periodic Table of the Elements 119

Element Categories 120

Chronology 121

Glossary 126

Further Resources 136

General Resources 143

Index 150

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