Rhenium

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Rhenium

This is rhenium.

Symbol Re
Atomic number 75
Atomic mass 186.207 amu

Rhenium, discovered in 1925, was named after the German homeland waterway, the Rhine River.

Distinguishing properties

Rhenium is an extremely hard, silvery-white metal and almost twice the density of lead. Its melting point, 3170°C, is among the highest of all the known elements.

Occurrence

Rhenium occurs naturally as an impurity in molybdenite (MoS2) and to a lesser extent in copper sulfide ores.

Usage

It is used in thermocouples alloys, and has numerous applications in electronic devices such as contact points of electrical switches. It can be electroplated, but its high cost limits its use to specialty items.

See also

Periodic table of the elements