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Element 31


on 12 November 2012

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Transcript of Gallium

A brief background about an interesting element. Gallium. EUREKA! The Gallium Beating Heart Experiment What is it? Gallium was discovered in 1875. Not long after Dmitri Mendeleev published his version of the periodic table in 1869, a French scientist by the name of Paul-Emile Lecoq De Boisbaudran discovered Gallium by spectroscopy. What Are Its Uses? By doping a semiconductor with small quantities of certain gallium compounds, changes can be made in some degree to the properties and conductivity of the intrinsic semiconductor. Gallium doping is mainly used in high temperature applications.
In the gallium beating heart experiment a small amount of melted gallium is submerged in a dilute solution of Sulfuric Acid (H2SO4) which reacts with the gallium producing Gallium Sulfate (Ga2(SO4)3) on the surface. The bubbles that are observed are bubbles of hydrogen gas (H2) as the gallium reacts. The sulfate produced on the surface of the gallium increases its surface tension causing it to stiffen into a sphere.
2Ga + 3H2SO4 Ga2 (SO4)3 + 3H2
In order to lower the surface tension, a dichromate solution is added which removes the sulfate from the surface of the gallium causing it to relax.
With the correct amount of dichromate solution, the reaction will steadily cause the gallium to constrict and relax relative to a beating heart. Gallium is a soft silvery blue-white metal. It is element number 31 on the periodic table with the elemental symbol Ga. Gallium’s atomic mass is 69.72g/mol and it has a density of 5.9037g/ cm3 . It is found in trace amounts in bauxite and zinc ores. Gallium has many modern day uses. Its compounds are highly utilized in the semiconductor industry and in nuclear medicine. Gallium’s importance to nuclear medicine involves a radioisotope called Gallium-67. The use of Gallium-67 has long been in used to seek out cancerous tissues in the liver, spleen, bowels, breasts, thymus, kidneys, and bones Gallium melts at around 29.8°C which is just below normal body temperature (37°C). This means that if you held a piece of gallium metal in your fist, it would become a liquid within minutes! Coolest Property:
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