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This is palladium.

Symbol Be
Atomic number 46
Atomic mass 106.4 amu

Palladium, was discovered in 1803. In the late 1700s, scientists were sorting new elements from platinum ores. One element that came out of this work was palladium, named after the asteroid, Pallas.

Distinguishing properties

Palladium is a silver-white metal that is both ductile and malleable. It is more prone to attack from common acids than other platinum metals. The other platinum metals hardly respond to hydrochloric acid at room temperature. Palladium has an unusual tendency to pick up such gases as hydrogen, and oxygen. Palladium can absorb hydrogen up to 900 times its own volume. It is fairly reactive chemically and readily forms metallic compounds.


Commercial applications of palladium include its use:

  • as a "stiffener" when used with gold in silver in dental inlays and bridgework,
  • as a substitute for silver jewelry,
  • as springs in analog wristwatches,
  • in contacts for telephone relays and high-grade surgical instruments,
  • in alloys for special systems,
  • as a catalyst in synthetic organic reactions.

See also

Periodic table of the elements