Chrome was one the first features offered as an alternative to iron in vehicles.  Iron, as well as Aluminum tended to oxidize or rust much quicker than chrome.  Justin Beiber reportedly paid a whopping $100,000 for a chrome Fisker(above picture).  Chromium is an element with an atomic number of 24, and is a steel gray lustrous color that is hard and brittle.  It is derived from the Greek word chroma, meaning color.


Chromium oxide was used over 2000 years ago in China to coat metal weapons.  Chromium is also used in the production of stainless steel and chrome plating.


Manganese, with an atomic number of 25, is found in combination with iron and other minerals, and is also silvery gray in color.  It is mostly used as a metal alloy. Manganese phosphating is used as a treatment for rust and corrosion preservation. Manganese dioxide is used a cathode material in zinc-carbon and alkaline batteries.


It also functions in the oxygen evolving process in photosynthetic plants, and was once used as a pigment in paint used to draw on caverns in prehistoric times.  High doses, however, are harmful to mammals, and works like a neurotoxin, slowly paralyzing the victim.


Iron is also a silver gray metal, with atomic number of 26, is a metal in the first transition series, and by mass, the most common element on Earth.  It is created in the fusion of high mass stars, and also occurs in meteoroids, which are the byproduct thereof.


Iron, when exposed to natural air for long periods can oxidize into what is known as Ferrous Oxide(rust).  It can be used a steel alloy, and has been used to make weapons since ancient times.  Iron oxide mixed with aluminum powder can be ignited to create a thermide reaction, used in welding.  It also plays a role in biology, as a regulator of hemoglobin and myglobin.

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All of the metals listed above are present to some degree in our bodies, and Manganese and Iron are essential to maintain good health.  Most metals in our body are in such minute amounts that they cannot fatally harm us unless we are exposed to them, or overdose on supplements.  Tomorrow, we’ll look at some more metals which inhabit our bodies, and have other uses as well.  Until then, here are the links:


Cobalt, in its natural state is of course, is a hard, lustrous, silver-gray metal, not blue. It is added to other elements and minerals to give it its blue hue on glass, ceramics, and in inks, paints, and varnishes.  It has an atomic number of 27, and the main source of the element is a byproduct from copper and nickel mining.



It is primarily used as a metal for preparation of magnetic, wear resistant, and high strength alloys. It is also the active center of coenzymes called cobalamins, the most common example of the vitamin B12.  It is an essential trace dietary mineral for all animals. In my novel, Zarcon uses Cobalt for a casing on the wiring for a jamming device, mainly due to its magnetism and wear resistance.


Nickel is a silvery white metal with a slight golden tinge, and an atomic number of 28. It belongs to the transition metals, and is hard and ductile.  Rarely found in its natural state on Earth’s surface, it is usually combined with iron, and has a slow state of oxidation at room temperature and is considered to be corrosion resistant.


The Earth’s core is believed to be an Iron-Nickel mixture. The use of Nickel has been traced back as far as 3500 BCE. It is used in plating of metals, such as Iron and Brass, and has also been used to make coins in the past.  Plants use Nickel as a vital nutrient in its growth.


Copper is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity, and in its pure form is soft and malleable, having a reddish-orange color. With an atomic number of 29, it derives from the Latin word Cuprum. It creates a greenish tint when corroded.


It is mostly used as a conductor of heat in piping, and electricity in wiring, and sometimes as a building material, and to make magnets. It is an essential trace dietary mineral, and a respiratory enzyme and blood pigment in mollusks and crustaceans. In humans, it is found in the liver, bones, and muscles.


Zinc has an atomic number of 30, and is chemically similar to Magnesium. It is the 24th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust.  The largest amounts are found in Australia, Asia, and the United States.


Brass is an alloy of Copper and Zinc, and has been used at least since the 10th century BC. Corrosion resistant Zinc plating of Iron is the major application of the element, but is also used as a casing for batteries. It is also an essential mineral, especially regarding prenatal and postnatal development. Lack of it causes growth application, delayed sexual maturation, infection susceptibility, and diarrhea.


Elements such as these are part of our genetic makeup, and the world around us.  Our bodies need traces of each so each organ can function properly. Tomorrow, we’ll look at some rather obscure and not so common elements. Until then, here are the links for today:




First off, I’d like to apologize for missing Wednesday’s blog post.  I’m trying to revamp my first novel, edit and complete my next novel, and also work on finishing my children’s book for Amazon.  Covers are never easy to format, and I have a deadline to meet.  Hopefully, I’ll have all three completed by September 2015.


That being said, today’s post has to do with four elements that are rather rare, and all have similar properties to one another. They are also used in semiconductors and integrated circuits in electronics. Our first is Gallium, which has an atomic number of 31, and is a soft, silvery metal that is brittle solid at low temperature, and melts to a liquid at room temperature.


It is found as an agent to make metal alloys that melt a low temperatures.  It is used in microwave circuits and high speed infrared circuits.  Indium gallium nitrate produces blue and violet LED’s, and diode lasers.  Gallium is used in garnets in jewelry, and is used also as an alternative to Mercury in thermometers.


Germanium has atomic number of 32, and is a lustrous, hard, grayish-white metalloid, similar to tin and silicon.  Also a semiconductor, it is used in transistors, and in the polymerization in the production of plastics. It was used extensively during the first decade of electronics, and is now only used for about 2% of the industry.


Arsenic has an atomic number of 33, and occurs in minerals, usually in conjunction with sulfur and other metals, and as a pure crystal. The main use is for strengthening alloys of copper and lead.  It is used in car batteries, electronic devices, pesticides, treated wood products, herbicides, and insecticides.


A few species of bacteria use arsenic compounds as respiratory metabolites. Trace quantities of arsenic are essential dietary elements in rodents, goats, chickens, and many other animals, including humans. It can be a toxin if consumed in high quantities, and has become a problems in some areas’ drinking water.


Selenium has an atomic number of 34, and is the only one that is a non-metal.  It is similar to sulfur and tellium, and comes from the Greek word Seline, which means “moon.” It is found impurely in metal, sulfides, ores, and copper.


It’s chief use is in color pigmentation in glass making, and was once used as a semiconductor in photo cells, until it was replaced by silicon. It is continued to be used for DC power surge protectors. Trace amounts are necessary for cellular function in many organisms, and is an ingredient in many multivitamins, and in baby formula.

Please join me tomorrow , when we’ll complete part 3 of our series.  Until then, here are today’s links:

superman Kryptonite_poisoning


 When we think of Krypton, we think of Superman, the extraterrestrial superhero from the planet of the same name.  His archenemies know of his susceptibility to the substance from the planet known as Kryptonite,  a real substance named Krypton difluoride.  The real element of course has nothing to do with the red caped hero or Clark Kent, for that matter.


Krypton comes from the Greek word kryptos, meaning “the hidden one,” and has atomic number of 36. Considered one of the Nobel Gases, it is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas, and is harmful to humans.  A small trace exists naturally in the atmosphere. Krypton is used in fluorescent lamps and in photography. It has the highest light output in plasma, and has an important role in many high-powered gas lasers.


Bromine is a  fuming reddish-brown liquid, and comes from the Greek word bromos, meaning “strong-smelling” or “stench.”  With an atomic number of 35, it is considered a Halogen, and is corrosive and toxic. Its properties are similar to Chlorine and Iodine, and it is one of the rarest elements on Earth. found mostly in ocean brine pools.


At high temperatures, organobromine compounds convert to free bromine atoms, which creates a stopping effect or chemical reactions. This makes it useful for fire retardants.  It is also used as a canine antiepileptic medicine.


Rubidium is a soft silvery white metallic element of the alkali metal group, and has an atomic number of 37.  It is highly reactive, and has a very rapid oxidization in air. Natural Ribidium has two isotopes Rb85, which is stable, and Rb87 is slightly radioactive, with a half life of 49 billion years.

Rubidium compounds have various chemical and electronics applications, such atomic clocks, and as a target for laser manipulation of atoms.


Strontium is a silvery white element that is highly reactive, and turns yellow when exposed to air.  With an atomic number of 38, it has similar properties to calcium and barium.  It was named after the village of Strontian, in Scotland. It is used today in cathode ray tubes in televisions, and as a pigment in colored fireworks.


As I mentioned yesterday, I was having trouble with designing covers for the revamped version of Dimension Lapse, and its sequel Return To Doomsday. I’ve since solved the issues, and everything so far is ahead of schedule.  I hope to have it out by Sept. 1, 2015.

I hoped you enjoyed this weeks series.  I’ll be back with Pt. 4 of our elements series.  Until then, here are today’s links:






















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