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Elements for Kids

Iodine

The element iodine

  • Symbol: I
  • Atomic Number: 53
  • Atomic Weight: 126.904
  • Classification: Halogen
  • Phase at Room Temperature: Solid
  • Density: 4.933 grams per cm cubed
  • Melting Point: 113.7°C, 236.66°F
  • Boiling Point: 184.3°C, 363.7°F
  • Discovered by: Bernard Courtois in 1811
Iodine is the fourth element in the seventeenth column of the periodic table. It is classified as a halogen and a non-metal. Iodine atoms have 53 electrons and 53 protons with 7 valence electrons in the outer shell.

Characteristics and Properties

Under standard conditions iodine is a dark blue-black solid. Iodine crystals can sublimate directly from a solid to a gas. As a gas, iodine is a purple vapor.

Iodine is a fairly active element, but is somewhat less active than the other halogens above it in the periodic table which include bromine, chlorine, and fluorine. Iodine can form compounds with many elements. Some of its most common compounds are formed with sodium and potassium.

Pure iodine can be dangerous to handle causing the skin to burn and damage to the eyes.

Where is it found on Earth?

Iodine is fairly rare, but is found in both the Earth's crust and in ocean water. There is actually a higher concentration of iodine in the ocean than in the Earth's crust. Some ocean plants such as seaweed have a high concentration of iodine. It is also found in underground brines near oil and natural gas reserves.

How is iodine used today?

Iodine has a number of uses. It is used in sanitation systems and as an antiseptic to kill germs and bacteria. It is also used in its radioactive form to enable doctors to diagnose medical issues and diseases.

Other applications include animal feed, cloud seeding, dyes, and photography.

Iodine is also an essential element for life. It plays an important role in the thyroid gland that controls the body's growth rate. Too little iodine can cause a person to have stunted growth and slower cognitive development (less intelligent). To make sure that people get enough iodine, it is often added to salt in what is called iodized salt.

How was it discovered?

Iodine was first discovered and isolated by French chemist Bernard Courtois in 1811. Courtois stumbled across iodine when running experiments on seaweed. It was French chemist Gay-Lussac who first named iodine as a new element and suggested the name.

Where did iodine get its name?

Iodine gets its name from the Greek word "iodes" which means "violet."

Isotopes

Iodine has one stable isotope that occurs naturally, iodine-127.

Interesting Facts about Iodine


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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