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    4    

4 Be Beryllium

Alkaline earth metal, mass: 9.012 u, 1 stable isotope (9), abundance rank (earth/space): 48/53

Click image to magnify. Pure beryllium bead, 2.5 grams. Original size in cm: 1 x 1.5
Beryllium Beryllium same piece
Beryllium is a relatively inert, hard, medium grey metal, which is very light. It is nearly transparent for X-rays. Beryllium is not often used, as it is quite expensive and very toxic, in its elemental form as in many of its compounds. However, it is an important ingredient in many valuable gemstones, like beryl, aquamarine and emerald. Clear beryl was used for optical lenses in former times.
The extremely unstable isotope beryllium 8, which has a half-life of 67 quintillionths of a second, plays an important role in the universe. Advanced stars fusion helium 4 to carbon 12 via this isotope.

Beryllium brighter image Beryl
Right: natural beryl, Be3Al2(SiO3)6, 9 grams. Original size in cm: 2 x 4.5


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The images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, unless otherwise noted. Attribution by linking (outside of the internet credit with url) to the according element page.



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