Caesium

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Attribution: Dnn87

Animated Caesium

History

From the Latin word caesius, sky blue. Cesium was discovered spectroscopically in 1860 by Bunsen and Kirchhoff in mineral water from Durkheim.

Sources

Cesium, an alkali metal, occurs in lepidolite, pollucte (a hydrated silicate of aluminum and cesium), and in other sources. One of the world's richest sources of cesium is located at Bernic Lake, Manitoba. The deposits are estimated to contain 300,000 tons of pollucite, averaging 20% cesium.

It can be isolated by elecytrolysis of the fused cyanide and by a number of other methods. Very pure, gas-free cesium can be prepared by thermal decomposition of cesium azide.

Uses

Because of it has great affinity for oxygen, the metal is used as a "getter" in electron tubes. It is also used in photoelectric cells, as well as a catalyst in the hydrogenation of certain organic compounds.

The metal has recently found application in ion propulsion systems. Cesium is used in atomic clocks, which are accurate to 5 s in 300 years. Its chief compounds are the chloride and the nitrate.

Isotopes

Cesium has more isotopes than any element--32--with masses ranging from 114 to 145.

General Info

AtomicNumber
55
Symbol
Cs
Name
Caesium

Atomic Info

Appearance
AtomicWeight
132.9054519(2)
Color
57178F
ElectronicConfiguration
[Xe] 6s1
ElectronegativityInPauling
0.79
AtomicRadiusInPM
225
IonRadiusInPM
167 (+1)
VanDerWaalsRadiusInPM
IEinKJmol
376
EAinKJmol
-46
OxidationStates
1
StandardState
solid
BondingType
metallic
MeltingPoint
302
BoilingPoint
944
Density
1.88
State
Alkali metal
DiscoveredYear
1860