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Science >> Chemistry for Kids >> Periodic Table
<---Cobalt       Copper--->

Elements for Kids

Nickel

The element nickel

  • Symbol: Ni
  • Atomic Number: 28
  • Atomic Weight: 58.6934
  • Classification: Transition metal
  • Phase at Room Temperature: Solid
  • Density: 8.9 grams per cm cubed
  • Melting Point: 1455°C, 2651°F
  • Boiling Point: 2913°C, 5275°F
  • Discovered by: Axel Cronstedt in 1751


Nickel is the first element in the tenth column of the periodic table. It is classified as a transition metal. Nickel atoms have 28 electrons and 28 protons with 30 neutrons in the most abundant isotope.

Characteristics and Properties

Under standard conditions nickel is a silvery-white metal that is fairly hard, but malleable.

Nickel is one of the few elements that is magnetic at room temperature. Nickel can be polished to a shine and resists corrosion. It is also a decent conductor of electricity and heat.

Where is nickel found on Earth?

Nickel is one of the primary elements of the Earth's core which is thought to be made mostly of nickel and iron. It is also found in the Earth's crust where it is about the twenty-second most abundant element.

Most nickel that is mined for industrial use is found in ores such as pentlandite, garnierite, and limonite. The largest producers of nickel are Russia, Canada, and Australia.

Nickel is also found in meteorites where it is often found in conjunction with iron. A large nickel deposit in Canada is thought be from a giant meteorite that crashed to earth thousands of years ago.

How is nickel used today?

The majority of nickel that is mined today is used to make nickel steels and alloys. Nickel steels, such as stainless steel, are strong and corrosion resistant. Nickel is often combined with iron and other metals to make strong magnets.

Other applications for nickel include batteries, coins, guitar strings, and armor plate. Many nickel based batteries are rechargeable like the NiCad (nickel cadmium) battery and the NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) battery.

How was it discovered?

Nickel was first isolated and discovered by Swedish chemist Axel Cronstedt in 1751.

Where did nickel get its name?

Nickel gets its name from the German word "kupfernickel" which means "devil's copper." German miners named ore containing nickel "kupfernickel" because, although they thought the ore contained copper, they were unable to extract any copper from it. They blamed their troubles with this ore on the devil.

Isotopes

Nickel has five stable isotopes that occur naturally including nickel-58, 60, 61, 62, and 64. The most abundant isotope is nickel-58.

Oxidation States

Nickel exists in oxidation states of -1 to +4. The most common is +2.

Interesting Facts about Nickel


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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