Transition Elements (Encyclopedia of Science)
The transition elements are the elements that make up Groups 3 through 12 of the periodic table. These elements, all of which are metals, include some of the best-known names on the periodic tableron, gold, silver, copper, mercury, zinc, nickel, chromium, and platinum among them. A number of other transition elements are probably somewhat less familiar, although they have vital industrial applications. These elements include titanium, vanadium, manganese, zirconium, molybdenum, palladium, and tungsten.
One member of the transition family deserves special mention. Technetium (element #43) is one of only two "light" elements that does not occur in nature. It was originally produced synthetically in 1937 among the products of a cyclotron reaction. The discoverers of technetium were Italian physicists Carlo Perrier and Emilio Segré (1905989).
The transition elements share many physical properties in common. With the notable exception of mercury, the only liquid metal, they all have relatively high melting and boiling points. They also have a shiny, lustrous, metallic appearance that may range from silver to gold to white to gray.
In addition, the transition metals share some chemical properties. For example, they tend to form complexes, compounds in which a group of atoms cluster around a single metal atom. Ordinary copper sulfate, for example, normally...
(The entire section is 3752 words.)
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