About 85 percent of people who develop chronic beryllium disease after getting exposed have an immune system protein known as HLA-DP2, according to recent research published in July 2014 in the journal Cell. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. History and Uses: Although emeralds and beryl were known to ancient civilizations, they were first recognized as the same mineral (Be 3 Al 2 (SiO 3) 6) by Abbé Haüy in 1798. [6], A beryllium atom has the electronic configuration [He] 2s2. Small amounts of tritium are liberated when 94Be nuclei absorb low energy neutrons in the three-step nuclear reaction, Note that 62He has a half-life of only 0.8 seconds, β− is an electron, and 63Li has a high neutron absorption cross-section. conductive spring components of telephone switchboard relays produced in Optical-grade beryllium was selected as the primary mirror material [90] Neutron sources in which beryllium is bombarded with gamma rays from a gamma decay radioisotope, are also used to produce laboratory neutrons.[91]. We apologize to all of our visitors and groups for this inconvenience. To form the fluoride, aqueous ammonium hydrogen fluoride is added to beryllium hydroxide to yield a precipitate of ammonium tetrafluoroberyllate, which is heated to 1,000 °C (1,830 °F) to form beryllium fluoride. Francium was the last element to be discovered in nature, rather than synthesized in the lab, although four of the "synthetic" elements that were discovered later (plutonium, neptunium, astatine, and promethium) were eventually found in trace amounts in nature as well. [90], Beryllium is also commonly used in some neutron sources in laboratory devices in which relatively few neutrons are needed (rather than having to use a nuclear reactor, or a particle accelerator-powered neutron generator). Pure beryllium is first commercialized for use in medical x-ray [106] The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the United States researches these effects in collaboration with a major manufacturer of beryllium products. [81], Beryllium was also used for cantilevers in high performance phonograph cartridge styli, where its extreme stiffness and low density allowed for tracking weights to be reduced to 1 gram, yet still track high frequency passages with minimal distortion. Currently the United States, China and Kazakhstan are the only three countries involved in the industrial-scale extraction of beryllium. Smaller beryllium mirrors are used in optical guidance systems and in fire-control systems, e.g. Beryllium is found in beryl and emerald, minerals that were known to the ancient Egyptians. 1. Thus, for high-energy neutrons, beryllium is a neutron multiplier, releasing more neutrons than it absorbs. Since then beryllium mixed with an alpha emitter such as radium, plutonium, or americium has been used as a neutron source. for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to replace the Hubble BeCl2 and BeBr2 have chain structures with edge-shared tetrahedra. Thank you for your understanding. Alternatively, the hydroxide can be heated to form the oxide, which in turn can be treated with carbon and chlorine to form beryllium chloride; electrolysis of the molten chloride is then used to produce the metal. Beryl and bertrandite are the most important commercial sources of the element and its compounds. Elemental (metallic) beryllium was isolated in 1828 by two chemists, The alpha particles released by radioactive decay of radium atoms react with atoms of beryllium to give, among the products, neutrons with a wide range of energies—up to about 5 × 106 electron volts (eV). function of nuclear weapons. advent of space flight in the same era, beryllium answered the call for a It killed some early workers in nuclear weapons design, such as Herbert L. This led to the element being named beryllium. This makes its decay rate dependent to a measurable degree upon its chemical surroundings – a rare occurrence in nuclear decay.[17]. Such alpha decay driven beryllium neutron sources, named "urchin" neutron initiators, were used in some early atomic bombs. [51] In the first century CE, Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder mentioned in his encyclopedia Natural History that beryl and emerald ("smaragdus") were similar. The build up of strategic deterrent weapons systems during the Cold Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Basic beryllium carbonate, BeCO3∙xBe(OH)2, precipitated from ammonia (NH3) and carbon dioxide (CO2), along with basic beryllium acetate, Be4O(C2H3O2)6, are used as a starting material for synthesis of beryllium salts. [84] For the same reason, the optics of the Spitzer Space Telescope are entirely built of beryllium metal. Beryllium is pronounced as beh-RIL-ee-em. exploration. [53] Mineralogist René Just Haüy discovered that both crystals are geometrically identical, and he asked chemist Louis-Nicolas Vauquelin for a chemical analysis. There was a problem. Beryllium contracts and deforms less than glass – and remains more uniform – in such temperatures. Beryllium is the fourth element on the periodic table and the 44th most abundant element in the earth’s crust.


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