Thallium is a soft, silvery-grey, reactive metal which is only found as a minor constituent of various minerals (it has an abundance of 0.6 ppm in the earth’s crust), from which the metal is obtained by electrolytic reduction in aqueous solution. Thallium tarnishes readily in moist air and reacts with steam to form TlOH. It is readily soluble in acids, particularly HNO3, and is highly toxic. As a result of its toxicity, thallium is rarely used, with the exception of the manufacture of special grades of glass. In the past, thallium compounds found applications as diverse as rat poisons and hair restorers!


1861 by W. Crookes in London, and isolated by C.A. Lamy the following year in Paris.

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Atomic number 81 Clip
Atomic / Molecular Weight 204.383 gmol-1Clip
Density 11871 kgm-3Clip
Crystal Structure hcp / fcc at 503K Clip
Lattice constant 346 fmClip
Melting Point 577 KClip
Boiling Point 1733 KClip
Linear expansivity 0.0000299 K-1Clip
Specific heat capacity 130 Jkg-1K-1Clip
Thermal conductivity 47 Wm-1K-1Clip
Bulk Modulus of Rigidity 43000000000 Nm-2Clip
Electromotive Series 0.33 VClip
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See also: Crookes, William, Periodic Table.

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Subjects: Chemistry