Liquid metal

The statement that mercury is the only liquid metal at room temperature (18-22 degrees Celsius) is known to everyone from school years. It is invariably reproduced in many current manuals and even reference books and encyclopedias on chemistry and metallurgy.

The liquid metal of France, melting at a temperature of 8 degrees Celsius, eliminated the mercury monopoly on the right to be considered the only liquid metal at room temperature

The liquid metal of France, melting at a temperature of 8 degrees Celsius, eliminated the mercury monopoly on the right to be considered the only liquid metal at room temperature.

It all began at the very moment when the apprentice of M. Skladowska-Curie - Margarita Perea discovered in 1939 element No. 87, which she named France after her homeland. This liquid metal is one of the rarest and most stable radioactive elements found in nature. It is the most active of all metals - easily self-igniting in air, and reacts with water with an explosion. The liquid metal of France is similar in properties to cesium. It always co-crystallizes with its compounds. Since at the disposal of researchers there are only the smallest specimens containing not more than 10-7 g of France, information about its properties is known with a large margin of error, but they are being refined all the time.

France is one of the rarest liquid metals among elements that constantly exist in the earth's crust. Only astat has less content. The entire natural liquid metal of France is radiogenic, its radioactive decay is compensated by the simultaneous occurrence of new atoms of France as intermediate products of the decay of uranium-235 and thorium-232. The total content of France in the earth's crust is estimated at 340 grams. In 2012, 34 isotopes of France with mass numbers 199-232 and 7 metastable nuclear isomers were known. In nature (as products of radioactive decay of uranium and thorium) there are two isotopes: 223Fr and 224Fr.

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