Beryllium is a light and lustrous metal which is obtained by the electrolysis of a fused halide (e.g. BeCl2 ). It is resistant to attack by air or water, even at elevated temperatures. Beryllium is non-magnetic, a good thermal conductor. Beryllium and its compounds are highly toxic.


Used as an alloying addition to copper or nickel, the alloys having excellent thermal, mechanical and electrical properties. Applications for pure beryllium include its use as windows in X-ray tubes and as a source of neutrons when bombarded with alpha particles, a technique used by Chadwick in 1932 in their discovery.

Discovered by the French chemist and pharmacist Nicholas-Louis Vauquelin in beryl and emerald in 1797. The element was first separated in 1828 by the French chemist Antoine-Alexandre­Brutus Bussy and independently by the German chemist Friedrich Wohler.

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Atomic number 4 Clip
Mass number 9 Clip
Atomic / Molecular Weight 9.01218 gmol-1Clip
Density 1846 kgm-3Clip
Lattice constant 229 fmClip
Melting Point 1553 KClip
Boiling Point 2753 KClip
Linear expansivity 0.0000113 K-1Clip
Specific heat capacity 1820 Jkg-1K-1Clip
Thermal conductivity 218 Wm-1K-1Clip
Acoustic wave velocity (longitudinal bulk waves) 12890 ms-1Clip
Acoustic wave velocity (Shear waves) 8880 ms-1Clip
Electromotive Series 1.7 VClip
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See also: Beryllium Bromide, Beryllium Chloride, Beryllium Copper, Beryllium Fluoride, Beryllium Hydroxide, Beryllium Iodide, Beryllium Nitride, Beryllium Oxide, Light Metal, Periodic Table.

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Subjects: Chemistry