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The Element Molybdenum


"The Atom"

Definition of the Molybdenum Element
A hard, silvery-white metallic element used to toughen alloy steels and soften Tungsten alloy.  It was often confused with graphite and Lead ore. An essential trace element in plant nutrition, it is used in fertilizers, dyes, enamels, and reagents. Molybdenum has one of the highest melting points of all pure elements. It is attacked slowly by acids. The Atomic Number of this element is 42 and the Element Symbol is Mo.

The Properties of the Molybdenum Element
Symbol of Element : Mo
Atomic Number : 42
Atomic Mass: 95.94 amu
Melting Point: 2617.0 C - 2890.15 K
Boiling Point: 4612.0 C - 4885.15 K
Number of Protons/Electrons: 42
Number of Neutrons: 54
Crystal Structure: Cubic
Density @ 293 K: 10.22 g/cm3
Color : silvery-white

Origin / Meaning of the name Molybdenum
The name Molybdenum originates from the Greek word molubdos meaning "lead-like"

Periodic Table Group and Classification of the of the Molybdenum Element
Elements can be classified based on their physical states (States of Matter) e.g. gas, solid or liquid. This element is a solid. Molybdenum is classified as a "Transition Metal" which are located in Groups 3 - 12 of the Periodic Table. Elements classified as Transition Metals are generally described as ductile, malleable, and able to conduct electricity and heat. Nearly 75% of all the elements in the Periodic Table are classified as metals which are detailed in the List of Metals.

Occurrence of the Molybdenum Element
Obtained from molybdenite, powellite and wulfenite
Found in the enzyme xanthine oxidase
Byproduct of Copper mining
Mined in the USA

Abundances of the element in different environments
% in Universe 510-7%
% in Sun 910-7%
% in Meteorites 0.00012%
% in Earth's Crust 0.00011%
% in Oceans 110-6%
% in Humans 0.00001%

Associated Uses of Molybdenum
High strength alloys
High temperature steels
Aircraft parts
Missile parts

The Discovery of Molybdenum
Molybdenum was discovered by Carl Wilhelm Scheele  in 1778.

Carl Wilhelm Scheele
Carl Scheele (9 December 1742 21 May 1786) was a German chemist who made a number of important chemical discoveries before many others but was rarely given the credit for his findings. For instance, although Scheele discovered Oxygen Joseph Priestley published his findings first so was given the credit. Carl Scheele also identified molybdenum, tungsten, barium, Hydrogen and Chlorine before Humphry Davy and other scientists.

Facts about the History of the Discovery of Molybdenum Element
The Russian Luna 24 mission discovered a single grain of pure Molybdenum in a pyroxene fragment taken from Mare Crisium on the Moon.

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