LANTHANUM

Atomic symbol: La Atomic weight: 138.9047

Electron configuration: 2-8-18-32-9-2

Atomic number: 57

Oxidation states: +3

State of matter: solid

Heavy metal, brittle

Discovered in 1839 by Carl Gustaf Mosander

Boils at 3454°C, melts at 920°C

Notes:
Lanthanum is a ductile, malleable, silvery white rare earth metal. It forms alloys with several other metals, and has three allotropic forms. At 268°C Lanthanum becomes a superconductor.

LEAD

Atomic symbol: Pb

Atomic weight: 207.2

Atomic number: 82

Electron configuration: 2-8-18-32-18-4

Oxidation states: +2, +4

State of matter: solid

Heavy metal, low melting

Discovered in ancient times

Boils at 1744°C, melts at 327.5°C

Notes:
Lead is a soft silvery white metal. It is very malleable, ductile and dense. When freshly cut, lead is highly lustrous, but tarnishes easily when exposed to air. It can be easily melted, cast, rolled and extruded. Lead is used in bullets and in blocking x-rays and other electromagnetic short- wave radiation. It is also used in vulcanized rubber.

LITHIUM

Atomic symbol: Li Atomic weight: 6.941

Atomic number: 3

Electron configuration: 2-1

Oxidation states: +1

State of matter: solid

Light metal

Discovered in 1817 by Johan August Arfwedson

Boils at 1342°C, melts at 180.5°C

Notes:
Lithium is a silvery white metal that turns yellow when exposed to moist air. When heated sufficiently, it emits light radiation that is red in color. Lithium is a good electron source in photoelectric cells and cyclotrons.

LUTETIUM

Atomic symbol: Lu

Atomic weight: 174.967

Atomic number: 71

Electron configuration: 2-8-18-32-9-2

Oxidation states: +3 State of matter: solid Heavy metal, brittle

Discovered in 1907-08 by Carl Auer von Welsbach and Georges Urbain

Boils at 3315°C, melts at 1656°C

Notes:
Lutetium is a silvery white metal, and the hardest and most dense rare earth metal. The radioactive isotope has been used to compare the age of meteorites and the age of earth.

MAGNESIUM

Atomic symbol: Mg Atomic weight: 24.3050

Atomic number: 12

Electron configuration: 2-8-2

Oxidation states: +2 State of matter: solid Light metal

Discovered in 1808 by Sir Humphry Davy Boils at 1090°C, melts at 649°C

Notes:
Magnesium is one of the most common elements in the earth’s crust. It burns with a brilliant white color, and slowly oxidizes in moist air. It is an important structural metal, often used in either pure or alloyed form with aluminum in the construction of aircraft. It is also frequently used in the production of objects requiring a light weight. Powdered magnesium is sometimes used in place of aluminum in the thermite reaction.

MANGANESE

Atomic symbol: Mn Atomic weight: 54.938045

Atomic number: 25

Electron configuration: 2-8-13-1

Oxidation states: +2, +3, +4, +6, +7

State of matter: solid

Heavy metal, brittle

Discovered in 1774 by Carl Wilhelm Scheele

Boils at 2097°C, melts at 1244°C

Notes:
Manganese is one of the most widely distributed, abundant elements. It is a gray-white, hard, brittle metal which is essential to the process of steel making. Nearly all aluminum and magnesium alloys contain manganese for improved corrosion resistance.

MERCURY

Atomic symbol: Hg Atomic weight: 200.59

Atomic number: 80

Electron configuration: 2-8-18-32-18-2

Oxidation states: +1, +2

State of matter: solid

Heavy metal, low melting

Discovered in ancient times

Boils at 356.9°C, melts at -38.87°C

Notes:
Mercury is the only elemental metal that is liquid at room temperature. It is silvery white in color, and solid mercury is malleable and can be cut with a knife. Electricity discharged through mercury vapor produces a bluish glow with a lot of ultraviolet light- a property that is used often in ultraviolet, fluorescent, and mercury-vapor lamps. Mercury is toxic, and can be lethal if the vapors are breathed, come into contact with skin, or ingested as a soluble compound.

MOLYBDENUM

Atomic symbol: Mo Atomic weight: 95.94

Atomic number: 42

Electron configuration: 2-8-18-13-1

Oxidation states: +6

State of matter: solid

Heavy metal, ductile

Discovered in 1782 by Peter Jacob Hjelm

Boils at 5560°C, melts at 2610°C

Notes:
Molybdenum is a dark gray or black powder with metallic luster, and is not found free in nature. Its properties resemble that of tungsten. The major use of this element is in strengthening and protecting against corrosion as an alloy.

NEODYMIUM

Atomic symbol: Nd

Atomic weight: 144.24

Atomic number: 60

Electron configuration: 2-8-18-22-8-2

Oxidation states: +3

State of matter: solid

Heavy metal, brittle

Discovered in 1885 by Carl Auer von Welsbach

Boils at 3127°C, melts at 1010°C

Notes:
Used in special alloys and glasses, neodymium is a silvery-white color that turns yellow when exposed to air. It is used in electronics and the manufacture of steel in alloys—especially in cigarette lighter flints. In ceramics it is used as a glaze and to color glass. The crude oxide is used to counteract the green color in iron in glass, and the m ore pure compound is used in the manufacture of purple glass.

NEON

Atomic symbol: Ne Atomic weight: 20.1797

Atomic number: 10

Electron configuration: 2-8

Oxidation states: 0

State of matter: gas

Noble gas

Discovered in 1898 by Sir William Ramsay and Morris W. Travers

Boils at -246°C, melts at -248.7°C

Notes:
Neon is obtained from the fractional distillation of liquid air. Its main use is in neon signs. Neon signs are made of helium, neon, argon, or mercury at different pressures. These are then put into different colored glass, which gives off different colors.

NICKEL

Atomic symbol: Ni Atomic weight: 58.6934

Atomic number: 28

Electron configuration: 2-8-16-2

Oxidation states: +2, +3

State of matter: solid

Heavy metal, ductile

Discovered in 1751 by Baron Axle Fredrik Cronsted

Boils at 2732°C, melts at 1453°C

Notes:
Nickel is a white ferromagnetic metal that resists tarnish. It’s one of the most important steel alloys. When divided into tiny pieces, it becomes an excellent catalyst, especially in the hydrogenation of fats and oils. Nickel dioxide was used as the cathode in Edison’s storage battery. Nickel compounds have become important in electroplating and various other things.

NIOBIUM

Atomic symbol: Nb Atomic weight: 92.90638

Atomic number: 41

Electron configuration: 2-8-18-12-1

Oxidation states: +3, +5

State of matter: solid

Heavy metal, brittle

Discovered in 1801 by Charles Hatchett

Boils at 4927°C, melts at 2468°C

Notes:
Niobium is a steel gray lustrous metal that is malleable and ductile when in pure form. It is used in alloys, tools, dyes, and superconductive magnets. Niobium is quite corrosion resistant but needs protection from oxidation at temperatures in excess of 400°C.

NITROGEN

Atomic symbol: N Atomic weight: 14.00674

Atomic number: 7

Electron configuration: 2-5

Oxidation states: ±1, ±2, ±3, +4, +5

State of matter: gas

Non-metal

Discovered in 1772 by Daniel Rutherford

Boils at -195.8°C, melts at -209.86°C

Notes:
Nitrogen is an odorless gas, usually obtained by the fractional distillation of liquid air. The process of including nitrogen to combine chemically with other substances is known as the fixation of nitrogen. A lot of nitrogen is used in the fixation process, which produces the raw materials for fertilizers, explosives, drugs, and dyes. It is used in rooms that store explosives, and in light bulbs to lengthen the life of the filament by preventing its oxidation.

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