Gallium Facts

Gallium is a chemical element with the symbol Ga and atomic number 31. It is a soft, silvery-white metal that is highly reactive. Gallium is found in small amounts in the Earth’s crust, and it is typically extracted from minerals and other compounds through a process known as smelting.

Gallium is an important element in many different applications, including in the production of semiconductors, LED lights, and other electronic devices.

It is also used in the manufacture of alloys, such as gallium-indium-tin, which is used in the production of solar cells. Gallium has a low melting point, and it can melt in the palm of your hand, which is one of its unique properties.

PropertyValue
Atomic Number31
SymbolGa
Element NameGallium
Atomic Mass69.7230 g/mol

Gallium Facts for kids

  • Gallium is a chemical element with the symbol Ga and atomic number 31.
  • It is a soft, silvery-white metal that is highly reactive.
  • Gallium is found in small amounts in the Earth’s crust.
  • The process of smelting typically extracts it from minerals.
  • Gallium has a low melting point, and it can melt in the palm of your hand.
  • LED lights, semiconductors, and other electronic devices use gallium.

Characteristics and Properties

I’m sure you have heard of gallium before, but do you know what it is and what its characteristics and properties are? Well, allow me to explain.

Gallium is a soft metal and is silver in color. It has a relatively low melting point of just 29.76°C (85.57°F), which is why it is often used in thermometers. It is also very brittle, so it can easily break if mishandled.

Another interesting characteristic of gallium is its high boiling point, which is 2477°C (4490°F). This makes it very useful in the electronics industry, as it can form a protective coating against high temperatures.

Gallium has a +3 oxidation state, which means it can easily form compounds with other elements. This makes it a versatile metal in many different applications, such as in alloys and semiconductor materials.

Lastly, gallium is non-toxic and non-flammable, which makes it a safe material to work with. It is also relatively cheap to obtain, which can make it a great choice for many different projects.

So there you have it – that’s a quick overview of the characteristics and properties of gallium. Hopefully, this has helped to clear up some of the confusion about this versatile metal.

Where is gallium found on Earth?

Gallium is found in small amounts in the Earth’s crust, and it is typically found in trace amounts in minerals and other compounds. Some of the main sources of gallium include bauxite, coal, and zinc ores.

Bauxite is a type of rock that is rich in aluminum oxide, and it is the primary source of aluminum for commercial production. Gallium is often found in small amounts in bauxite, and it is extracted from the bauxite during the process of refining aluminum.

Gallium is also found in small amounts in coal and zinc ores. It is typically extracted from these sources through a process called smelting, in which the ore is heated to high temperatures in order to separate the gallium from other elements. Once the gallium has been extracted, it can be used in a variety of applications, including in the production of semiconductors and other electronic devices.

Overall, gallium is not found in large quantities on Earth, but it is an important element in many different applications. It is typically extracted from minerals and other sources through a process called smelting in order to be used in commercial products.

How is gallium used today?

A versatile and widely-used element, and it has many different applications in a variety of industries. 

Semiconductors

Gallium is an important element in the production of semiconductors, which are used in many different types of electronic devices. Gallium is used in the production of semiconductor materials, such as gallium arsenide and gallium nitride, which have unique electrical properties that make them ideal for use in electronic devices.

LED lights

Used in the production of LED lights, which are highly energy-efficient and long-lasting. Gallium is used in the production of the semiconductor materials that are used in LED lights, which allow the lights to produce different colors and intensities of light.

Alloys

It’s also used in the production of alloys, which are materials made by combining two or more metals. One of the most common gallium alloys is gallium-indium-tin, which is used in the production of solar cells and other electronic devices.

Medicine

Did you know it’s also used in the production of some types of medicine, such as gallium nitrate, which is used to treat cancer and other diseases?

Other applications

Gallium is also used in other applications, such as in the production of mirrors, in the refining of zinc, and in the production of some types of glass.

How was Gallium Discovered?

Gallium was first predicted by Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev in 1871 as part of his periodic table of elements. Mendeleev noticed that there was a gap in the periodic table between aluminum and indium, and he predicted that a new element should exist in this gap.

He named this element “eka-aluminum,” and he predicted many of its properties, including its atomic weight and its melting point.

However, it was not until 1875 that gallium was actually discovered by French chemist Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran. Lecoq de Boisbaudran was able to isolate pure gallium by using spectroscopy to study the spectrum of a sample of zinc ore.

He found that the spectrum contained a new element, which he named “gallium” after the Latin word “gallia,” which means “France.” Lecoq de Boisbaudran’s discovery of gallium was an important milestone in the study of chemistry, and it confirmed many of the predictions that Mendeleev had made about the element.

Where did gallium get its name?

The word “gallium” comes from the Latin word “gallia,” which means “France.” This name was chosen by French chemist Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran, who discovered the element in 1875.

Lecoq de Boisbaudran named the element “gallium” because he was French, and he wanted to honor his home country by giving the element a French name. The word “gallium” is derived from the Latin word “gallia,” and it has been used to refer to the element ever since its discovery.