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This is tellurium.

Symbol Te
Atomic number 52
Atomic mass 127.60 amu

Tellurium, discovered in 1782, is a semimetal, sharing properties with metals and nonmetals.

Distinguishing properties

In its purest state, tellurium has a metallic luster and is silvery-white in appearance.


Tellurium occurs in nature in its elemental state, but more reliable sources include the minerals sylvanite, calaverite, and krennerite. Tellurium is recovered as a by-product of copper ore refining. In many respects it is very similar to its sister elements selenium and sulfur.


Tellurium is used as an alloying agent. Alloyed with copper and stainless steel, tellurium increases the machinability of those metals. Some are used in the rubber industry and it is also used in the manufacture of blasting caps.

See also

Periodic table of the elements