Beryllium is an element that is unfamiliar to many people, even though it is the fourth element on the periodic table. Here are some quick beryllium facts for you. You can find more detailed information about beryllium by viewing the beryllium facts
- Beryllium has an atomic number of 4, which means it has 4 protons.
- Beryllium is the lightest alkaline earth metal.
- Beryllium used to be called Glucinium or Glucinum (a name it retains in some countries). Both element names refer to the sweet taste of beryllium and its compounds.
- Though beryllium tastes sweet, it is toxic. Chronic exposure to beryllium (typically through inhalation) can lead to a life-threatening allergic disease called berylliosis.
- Beryllium is found in the gemstone called beryl. This group of gemstones includes emeralds and aquamarines.
- Beryllium has a high transparency to x-rays and other types of ionizing radiation.
- Beryllium has an extremely large scattering cross section for high energy neutrons.
- The element beryllium is relatively rare in the universe and on Earth because beryllium was created by the Big Bang and is not typically formed by the nucleosynthesis reactions of stars.
- Beryllium and its compounds have many uses. Beryllium metal is used in rocket nozzles, space telescopes, and to make windows transparent to x-rays and other types of radiation. Beryllium is used as a hardening agent in alloys such as beryllium copper.
- The modulus of elasticity of beryllium is higher than that of steel.
- Beryllium has one of the highest melting points of the light metals.