Beryllium

The Element Of The Stars

Beryllium is an element of the periodic table, with the atomic number 4 (a lucky number, in my opinion), the symbol Be (BZZZZZ!), and the atomic weight 9.01218315. It is also a rare element found in stars. I guess that’s why stars have rare talent! Just kidding! Seriously, though, beryllium can be found, though short-lived, synthesized in stars. As a free element, it is white-gray metallic and/or steel-gray, strong, lightweight and is a brittle alkaline earth metal.

Beryllium can be a real gem in nature. Seriously! Beryllium is found in the gemstones Aquamarine, Emerald, Red Beryl, Alexandrite and Cat's eye, as well as minerals like Beryllonite, Hambergite, Phenakite, Taaffeite, Euclase, Morganite, Heliodor, Tugtupite and different kinds of Beryl.

Beryllium can be added to aluminum (can also spelled alumimium), nickel, iron and copper, making alloys such as beryllium copper, beryllium nickel, beryllium iron.

Louis-Nicolas Vauquelin discovered beryllium in 1798, even though Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder mentioned that beryl and emerald were similar in 1 CE. Martin Heinrich Klaproth preferred to call it "beryllina" due to fact that yttria also formed sweet salts (Wait, sweet? I thought we were talking about salt. Or sweets). The name "beryllium" was first used by Friedrich Wöhler in 1828. Beryllium comes from the Latin word Beryllus and from the Greek word βήρυλλος, pronounced berullos. Beryllium is used in many things, such as:

Medical: x-ray tubes

Mechanical Applications: beam pipes around collision regions, high-speed aircraft, guided missiles, spacecraft, and satellites, rocket nozzles (3, 2, 1, BLAST OFF!!), bicycle frames

Mirrors: (hint: it’s in the title)

Magnetic Applications: tools used by naval or military teams for work on or near naval mines (A-TTEN-TION! At ease, men.)

Nuclear Applications: sometimes in nuclear weapons (BOOM!) as the outer layer of the plutonium pits in thermonuclear bombs, some neutron sources, fuel for CANDU reactors

Acoustics (No, not guitars): material for high-frequency speaker drivers

Electronics: Gallium Arsenide, Aluminum (aluminium) gallium arsenide, Indium gallium arsenide and Iluminum (iluminium) indium arsenide/indium aluminum (aluminium) arsenide, which are all excellent structural support for printed circuit boards (How do you print circuit boards? Don’t you just make them?), in critical electronic applications, as a structural support and heat sink, in many applications that require combined properties of an electrical insulator and an excellent heat conductor, frequently used as an insulator base plate in high-power transistors in radio frequency transmitters.

Did you know that beryllium copper is six times stronger than pure copper, and that beryllium alloys have a combination of elasticity, high electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity, high strength and hardness, nonmagnetic properties, and good corrosion and fatigue resistance? (Do they mean sleep? I COULD use a nap.)

Bibliography:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beryllium

http://gem5.com/tag/beryllium/

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