Atomic number: 47

Symbol: Ag

Category: transition metal

Density at 25°C: solid:  10.49 g·cm−3

This is a very familiar element known since ancient times. It has the highest electrical conductivity of any metal making it very useful for certain electrical applications (eg. ceramic disk capacitors). The symbol Ag comes from the Latin  argentum from arg meaning shiny. Though overall it is not quite as reflective as aluminium.


A piece of pure crystallised silver. image: adapted from wikipedia

Use, natural applications or common combinations: 

  • Photography - as silver halide crystals which reacts to light
  • Mirrors - used for reflective properties , optical coatings.
  • Jewellery - easily polished, malleable (easily bent and shaped)
  • Economics - used as a base metal for commodity trade.
  • Food - thin silver leaf foil used in Indian cuisine adornment  known as vark (the term also applies to other thin pure metals like gold)

Basic characteristics:

  • Standard atomic weight: 107.8682(2)
  • Melting point: 961.78 °C
  • Boiling point: 2162 °C
  • Radioactivity: all naturally stable


University Technology Sydney Engineering lecture notes -