The Elements : Beryllium


Name Symbol Atomic Number Electronic Structure Melting Point (°C) Boiling Point (°C)
 Beryllium  Be 4 2 - 2 1287 2469

Beryllium has the symbol Be. It is element number 4. Its four electrons are arranged in the sequence 2, 2. This might seem like a stable arrangement but the second electron shell of an atom can hold eight electrons so Beryllium is not inert.

Beryllium is a light, silvery-white metal melting at 1287°C. It is a constituent of the mineral, Beryl (Be3Al2Si6O18), from which it gets its name.

The word "Beryl" is from Sanskrit and has the same root as "Brilliant".

The alloys of Beryllium are expensive but find uses in atomic reactors, in special glasses, and for daylight lighting. Its compounds are very toxic. The metal is never found free in nature as it prefers to be in combination with other atoms.

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