Lithium Metal element number 3 Li

This chunk of pure Lithium was cut with a knife just before I took the photo. only a few minutes and the Lithium had turned dark. Lithium is interesting when placed in water. It floats on water and starts to react, and jets around in random paths. 

Li  3 metal  MP: 357F,  BP: 2448F,  D: .534,   Mohs: 0.6    AW:6.941

 Lithium is very light and floats on water and oil. Lithium is a grey soft metal, and heads the group of Alkali metals. Lithium is reactive to water and will liberate Hydrogen from water to form Hydrogen gas. Although not as reactive as sodium, Lithium is interesting to watch when put into water. It will run around like a crazy water bug.

Lithium has many uses in industry, when employed as a an anode in a battery Lithium will yield more voltage than standard cells. Many power tools and gadgets now have Lithium batteries installed. My new power drill with Lithium Batteries has far more power than the old Ni-Cd battery drill. Lithium grease is an excellent lubricant, Lithium Oxides in ceramics, glass and optics even oxidizers in rocket engines!

Li can be alloyed with some metals such as Aluminium forming a very strong light alloy. Lithium also has many useful compounds. Lithium compounds can be used to absorb the CO2 in air, another compound is used to treat Bipolar disorder in the mental health field.

Lithium is also able to absorb heat, It is sometimes used in nuclear reactors in cooling systems,  it can take the heat! One Isotope of Lithium (Li-6) along with Hydrogen Isotope Deuterium form a compound used to make Hydrogen bombs. Liquid Fluoride reactors employ Li 7 in a compound used in research of Lithium in  fusion reactors, even a source of alpha particles.

 

Beryllium Metal element number 4  Be

 

 Beryllium is the 4th element on the periodic table. It is found in beryl minerals such as emeralds. The metal is very light and hard, It will scratch glass. It can form alloys, a common alloy is Copper/Beryllium which is  used in areas of industry requiring fire safety. The alloy will not spark when struck!  Beryllium can also be used in gemstone treatment, rubies can be altered to have better quality when heat treated with Beryllium.

 The metal has a toxic dust, and is dangerous to grind, sand, or cut. I keep my Be samples oiled to prevent escape of dust!. always wear gloves when handling Beryllium for safety!

Beryllium is the head of a group known as earth alkali elements.and is grouped with Calcium and Magnesium. It is not very abundant on the earth.  Beryllium is used in some Acoustical speakers, tools, special mirrors In telescopes, electronics, and nuclear applications.

Beryllium has a special quality, when hit with alpha radiation, it will emit neutrons, fast neutrons!   this makes it useful in labs experimenting with neutrons.  Beryllium foil is transparent to x rays, and sometimes used in radiation detection tubes, and nuclear bombs.

It is said Beryllium and its compounds have a sweet taste, I actually have no interest in checking this out my self, and please no matter how tasty Beryllium may look. Beryllium is a toxic element and must be treated accordingly. Do NOT put Beryllium in your mouth!!!!

Pure Beryllium pieces the large piece is chipped and also has pitting. The piece originated from Russia, and weight is 92 grams, that is quite large for a Be slab.

Be  4 metal,  MP: 2349F,  BP: 4476F,  D: 1.85gm,   Mohs: 5.5    AW: 9.012