Archive | Transition metals


    The symbol for mercury, Hg, comes from its Latin name, “hydragyum”.  Mercury can accumulate in the fatty deposits of fish.  Therefore, diets rich in fish contaminated with Hg can lead to Hg poisoning. next element                       previous element


    Gold is a famous and beautiful golden metal.  The symbol for gold, Au, comes from its Latin name, “aurum”.  It is used to make coins, fine jewelry and other items. next element                          previous element


    Platinum is used in the anti-cancer drug, cisplatin (PtCl2(NH3)2).  Cisplatin binds to DNA, rendering it useless and killing the cell.  Cisplatin was likely administered to Lance Armstrong, perhaps the most famous and infamous bicycle rider of all time, during his battle with cancer.  Note the yellow jersey on the rider.  Platinum, like rhodium, […]


    The density of iridium is 22.56 g/mL, almost as dense as osmium.  While meteorites tend to be rich in iridium, iridium is not found in large quantities on earth.  However, there is a layer of earth called the K-T boundary which is rich in Ir.  Below the K-T boundary, dinosaur fossils are found.  […]


    Osmium is the densest (22.59 g / mL) element known.  Because it is so “heavy”, we have a weightlifter on its square.  It is also used in the construction of compasses.   next element                       previous element


    Rhenium is used to make high performance military jet and rocket engines.   next element                 previous element


    Tungsten is used as the metal filament in incandescent lightbulbs.  This is because tungsten has a very high melting temperature (3400oC or 6200oF), and as electricity passes through the metal filament in a light bulb, the filament can reach extremely high temperatures.  Tungsten is also used in circular saw blades.  The symbol for […]


    Tantalum is used in hip replacement and other bone replacement parts.   next element                                         previous element


    Hafnium is an excellent neutron absorber and is therefore used as control rods in nuclear submarines.  The bombardment of uranium-235 with neutrons produces energy to power nuclear submarines: 235U + 1n –> 92Kr + 141Ba + 3 1n + LOTS of energy Notice that three neutrons (1n) are produced in this process.  These three […]


Cadmium is used in NiCad batteries.  The following reactions take place in these batteries: Cd(s) + 2 OH–(aq) →Cd(OH)2(s) + 2 e–      ( – electrode) 2 NiOOH(s) + 2 H2O(l) + 2 e–>→2 Ni(OH)2(s) + 2 OH–(aq)   (+ electrode) next element                       […]