Atomic number: 4

Symbol: Be

Category: metal

Density at 25°C: solid, 1.85 g·cm−3

This is the fourth element. What's it like? Well it's a metal so it gets a steely grey look. But it is brittle (like glass), but is very stiff, especially for it’s density. There’s not too much of it relative to other elements in the universe as it is produced as short lived radioactive form in stars. There is stable non-radioactive isotope but even that is not the most pleasant material causing disease but it is useful in high tech industries. 


Brittle beryllium. image: wikipedia

Use, natural applications or common combinations: 

  • in some alloys in the aero space industry especially space based mirrors
  • the non radioactive isotopes formed out in space being hit by gamma radiation.
  • window material for X-ray equipment ( x-rays pass through it easily)
  • found in various minerals/gem stones especially beryl

Basic characteristics:

  • Standard atomic weight: 9.012182(3)
  • Melting point: 1287 °C
  • Boiling point: 1342 °C
  • Radioactivity: only some
    • radioactive isotopes: 7Be half life 53.12 d

Caution: The commercial use of beryllium requires the use of appropriate dust control equipment and industrial controls at all times because of the toxicity of inhaled beryllium-containing dusts that can cause a chronic life-threatening allergic disease in some people called berylliosis

source adapted from: Beryllium. (2016, January 16). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 09:28, January 28, 2016, from