Copper Facts

Copper Facts
Copper (Cu) has an atomic number of twenty-nine. This reddish member of the metals group has twenty-nine protons in the nucleus and is a very important element for commerce, making it one of the most important metals.
Interesting Copper Facts:
Copper occurs in nature in its native form.
Copper is found in the Earth's crust at about fifty parts per million.
The largest single piece of natural copper weighed 420 tons, and was discovered in the US in 1857.
Its history as a metal used by civilizations dates back at least 10,000 years.
The archaeological find Otzi the Iceman (3300 BC) was found with a nearly pure copper-headed ax.
His hair revealed arsenic at high levels, which researchers believe may have been from copper smelting.
Other than the use of copper, only meteoric iron and gold have been used longer.
Copper smelting was invented by several different ancient global civilizations simultaneously.
Mining for copper actually has been traced back as far as almost 3000 BC in England.
About 4000 years after copper smelting was discovered, the alloying of copper with tin to produce bronze began.
Copper is fully recyclable without breakdown in quality.
Brass, bronze, cupronickel, carat, and aluminum bronze are all important alloys of copper.
Due to its resistance to corrosion, copper alloyed with nickel is used in making parts that will be repeatedly exposed to seawater.
Copper's key industrial uses include electrical wiring due to its high level of conductivity.
Other uses include plumbing and roofing materials.
Copper is vital in small amounts in animals and plants.
In humans, copper is necessary for aiding the uptake of iron.
A deficiency in copper can actually mimic an iron deficiency because the two elements are related in the body.
Copper easily forms simple binary compounds.
The most common binary compounds of copper are sulfides, oxides, and halides.
Of all the copper mined since ancient times, 96% of it has been since 1900.
At the rate that copper is currently mined and consumed, there is about five million years' worth on Earth.

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