Copper Essay

1058 words - 4 pages


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     Copper is one of the earliest elements known to man. Because of its distinct red color, Copper is very easily identified. In the ancient times, copper could be found lying in the ground in its unattached state without interaction to other substances. Copper and its compounds have many uses in today’s society.
Copper has many chemical properties that make it unique. The Atomic number of copper is 29. An Atomic number is a measure of the amount of protons in the nucleus of an atom. Protons are sub-atomic particles, which have a positive charge. The Atomic mass of copper is 63.546. The Atomic mass is a measure of how many neutrons and protons are in an atom. Neutrons are sub- atomic particles, which have no charge. Thus, using the Atomic mass and Atomic number of Copper, we can determine that it has 29 proton and 35 neutrons.
Copper is a transition element and is found in column eleven of the periodic table. That means that it has 11 electrons in it valence shell. A valence shell of an atom is the last shell of electrons. Copper is a metal, which lies in period 4 of the Periodic table.
     Other basic properties include having a density of 8.96grams/ centimeters3. Density is a measure of mass per unit of volume in a substance. Copper has a melting point of 1083.3 degrees Celsius. A melting point of a substance is the temperature at which a solid changes to a liquid. Also, the freezing point of Copper is 2567 degrees Celsius. The freezing point of substance is the temperature a liquid changes to a solid.
     There are also many physical properties of Copper including conductivity, malleability, ductility, and the resistance against corrosion. Conductivity is the ability to conduct electricity. Silver is the only better conductor of electricity, but it is too expensive. Pure copper is a better conductor of electricity than copper alloys, due to the impurities in the alloys. Copper is also
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very malleable. Malleability is the ability to be easily shaped. Copper doesn’t break when hammered, stamped, forged, or spun into unusual shapes. Copper can be shaped either in a hot or cold shape. Besides being easily shaped, Copper is dutiable. Ductility is the ability to be drawn into thin wires without breaking. When heated, Copper becomes very thin and can be put into a wire thinner than a human hair.
     This metal also has the ability to resist corrosion. Copper does not rust and when in water, it turns reddish orange. After prolonged exposure, Copper develops a coat of green film called patina. This film protects it against further exposure. Also, rolled Copper has a tensile strength from 50,000 to 70,000 pounds per square inch. Tensile strength is the maximum strength a material can stand before breaking.
Early uses of the element include jewelry, weapons, and tools. The element was first used around...

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