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<---Beryllium       Carbon--->

Elements for Kids

Boron

The element boron

  • Symbol: B
  • Atomic Number: 5
  • Atomic Weight: 10.81
  • Classification: Metalloid
  • Phase at Room Temperature: Solid
  • Density: 2.37 grams per cm cubed
  • Melting Point: 2076°C, 3769°F
  • Boiling Point: 3927°C, 7101°F
  • Discovered by: Joseph L. Gay-Lussac, Louis J. Thenard, and Sir Humphry Davy in 1808
Boron is the first element in the thirteenth column of the periodic table. It is classified as a metalloid which means that its properties are in between that of a metal and a nonmetal. The boron atom has five electrons and five protons.

Characteristics and Properties

Amorphous boron (meaning the atoms are bonded together in a random order) comes in the form of a brown powder.

Boron atoms can bond in a number of different types of crystal networks called allotropes. Crystalline boron is black in color and is extremely hard. The chemical compound boron nitride is the second hardest substance after diamond (which is an allotrope of carbon).

Boron tends to make covalent bonds rather than ionic bonds. It is a poor conductor at room temperature.

Where is boron found on earth?

Boron is a fairly rare element on Earth. Pure boron is not found naturally on Earth, but the element is found in many compounds. The most common compounds are borax and kernite which are found in sedimentary rock formations.

How is boron used today?

Most of the boron that is mined is eventually refined into boric acid or borax. Boric acid is used in a number of applications including insecticides, flame retardants, antiseptics, and to create other compounds. Borax is a powdered material used in detergents, cosmetics, and enamel glazes.

Boron is used in the manufacture of glass and ceramics. It produces high end cookware materials used in brands such as Duran and Pyrex. It also helps to make glassware for science labs.

Other applications that use boron include semiconductors (computer chips), magnets, super hard materials, and shielding for nuclear reactors.

How was it discovered?

Boron was first discovered as a new element in 1808. It was discovered simultaneously by English chemist Sir Humphry Davy and French chemists Joseph L. Gay-Lussac and Louis J. Thenard. The first nearly pure boron was produced in 1909 by American chemist Ezekiel Weintraub.

Where did boron get its name?

The name boron comes from the mineral borax which gets its name from the Arabic word "burah".

Isotopes

Boron has two stable and naturally occurring isotopes. They are Boron-10 and Boron-11. There are thirteen known isotopes of the element.

Interesting Facts about Boron

More on the Elements and the Periodic Table

Elements
Periodic Table

Alkali Metals
Lithium
Sodium
Potassium

Alkaline Earth Metals
Beryllium
Magnesium
Calcium
Radium

Transition Metals
Scandium
Titanium
Vanadium
Chromium
Manganese
Iron
Cobalt
Nickel
Copper
Zinc
Silver
Platinum
Gold
Mercury
Post-transition Metals
Aluminum
Gallium
Tin
Lead

Metalloids
Boron
Silicon
Germanium
Arsenic

Nonmetals
Hydrogen
Carbon
Nitrogen
Oxygen
Phosphorus
Sulfur
Halogens
Fluorine
Chlorine
Iodine

Noble Gases
Helium
Neon
Argon

Lanthanides and Actinides
Uranium
Plutonium

More Chemistry Subjects

Matter
Atom
Molecules
Isotopes
Solids, Liquids, Gases
Melting and Boiling
Chemical Bonding
Chemical Reactions
Radioactivity and Radiation
Mixtures and Compounds
Naming Compounds
Mixtures
Separating Mixtures
Solutions
Acids and Bases
Crystals
Metals
Salts and Soaps
Water
Other
Glossary and Terms
Chemistry Lab Equipment
Organic Chemistry
Famous Chemists


Science >> Chemistry for Kids >> Periodic Table





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