Think solar energy and electric cars are the future? Or maybe not? Maybe coal, oil, and traditional infrastructure are the future and the renewable energy push is just hype? Either way… We’re gonna need a LOT of copper. Beyond fundamentals that suggest a boom in base metals, especially copper, is just beginning, there are many reasons to be interested in “Dr. Copper.” Enjoy this list of cool facts about copper!
17 Things You Might Not Know About Copper: The Element
- Copper and gold are the oldest metals known to man and were found in ancient times in their native form.
- Copper and zinc are alloyed to make brass.
- As copper is recycled, again and again, without any loss of performance, it is rarely lost from the world’s resources.
- The Romans obtained their copper from Cyprus. It was called aes Cyprium, which means “metal of Cyprus.” This was shortened to cyprium. Later, cyprium was changed to coprum, and eventually became known in English as copper.
- Over 400 copper alloys are in use today.
- The most common binary compounds of copper are sulfides, oxides, and halides.
- 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.
- Copper is element number 29 on the Periodic Table of Elements.
- Copper’s most important properties include superior heat transfer, electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance.
- Copper atoms have 29 electrons and 29 protons with 34 neutrons in the most abundant isotope.
- Copper ranks as third-most-consumed industrial metal in the world, after iron and aluminum, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
- Aside from gold, copper is the only metal on the periodic table whose coloring isn’t naturally silver or grey.
- Atomic symbol (on the periodic table of elements): Cu
- Copper easily alloys with other metals – there are more than 570 copper alloys in existence.
- Due to its versatility and durability, copper is referred to as “man’s eternal metal”.
- Copper’s use in a wide-range of core industries has resulted in the investment community turning to copper prices as an indicator of overall economic health, spurring the moniker ‘Dr. Copper’.
Thanks for reading!
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