Parents and Teachers: Support Ducksters by following us on Ducksters Facebook or Ducksters Twitter.
Ducksters Educational SiteDucksters Educational Site
History Biography Geography Science Games

Science >> Chemistry for Kids >> Periodic Table
<---Iridium       Gold--->

Elements for Kids

Platinum

The element platinum

<---Iridium       Gold--->
  • Symbol: Pt
  • Atomic Number: 78
  • Atomic Weight: 195.084
  • Classification: Transition metal
  • Phase at Room Temperature: Solid
  • Density: 21.45 grams per cm cubed
  • Melting Point: 1768°C, 3215°F
  • Boiling Point: 3825°C, 6917°F
  • Discovered by: Peoples of South America


Platinum is the third element of the tenth column in the periodic table. It is classified as a transition metal. Platinum atoms have 78 electrons and 78 protons with 117 neutrons in the most abundant isotope. It is considered to be a precious metal along with silver and gold.

Characteristics and Properties

Under standard conditions platinum is a shiny, silvery metal. It is very ductile, meaning that it can be easily stretched into a wire. It is also malleable, meaning it can be pounded into a thin sheet.

Platinum is resistant to corrosion when it comes into contact with air. It is also very dense (one of the highest of the elements) and has a high melting point.

Platinum is fairly inactive, but it will dissolve in hot alkalis and aqua regia.

Where is it found on Earth?

Platinum is a rare metal and difficult to find. This is what makes it such a valuable metal. Platinum can be found in its pure form, but is most often found together with other metals from the platinum group. The majority of platinum is mined in South Africa with Russia coming in a distant second.

How is platinum used today?

Being a precious metal, platinum is often used as currency and as an investment. It is also used in coins and to make jewelry such as rings, earrings, and watches.

Despite being a popular metal for jewelry, platinum is most often used as a catalyst in chemical reactions. It is used as a catalyst for the automobile and petroleum industries.

Other applications for platinum include alloys for special metals, super strong magnets, medical instruments, and dental work.

How was it discovered?

Platinum was first found by the peoples living in South America prior to the arrival of the Spanish. They produced a platinum and gold alloy that they used in their artwork and jewelry.

The first scientist to isolate platinum in its pure element form was English chemist William Hyde Wollaston in 1803.

Where did platinum get its name?

Platinum gets its name from the Spanish word "platina" which means "silver."

Isotopes

There are six naturally occurring isotopes. The most abundant of these is Platinum-195.

Interesting Facts about Platinum


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





About Ducksters Privacy Policy   

Follow us on Ducksters Facebook or Ducksters Twitter

This site is a product of TSI (Technological Solutions, Inc.), Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use.

MLA Style Citation