Atomic number: 74

Symbol: W

Category: transition metal

Density at 25°C: solid: density: 19.25 g·cm−3

Tungsten also known as wolfram, like many metals is only found in combination with other elements or minerals. Due to it's high melting point, without being an alloy, it has found it's main application in electrical lighting.

Tungsten filament in a halogen  lamp. image: adapted from wikipedia

Use, natural applications or common combinations: 

  • filaments in lighting
  • alloys, catalysts
  • ballast: 75-kg blocks of tungsten were used as "cruise balance mass devices" on the entry vehicle portion of the 2012 Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft
  • Gold substitute for some jewellry applications (tungsten carbide)
  • Found in wolframite ore/mineral

Basic characteristics:

  • Standard atomic weight: 183.84(1)
  • Melting point:  3422 °C
  • Boiling point: 5555 °C
  • Radioactivity: most naturally stable
    • some occasionally emit 2 alpha particles once a year per gram