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- Molecular formula: Cs
- Molar mass: 132.906
- CAS Registry Number: Not available
- Appearance: Not available
- Melting point: Not available
- Boiling point: Not available
- Solubility: Not available
- Safety sheet: Not available
- Spectra: Check on SDBS. Add Spectra (Help).
Caesium or cesium is a chemical element with symbol Cs and atomic number 55. It is a soft, silvery-gold alkali metal with a melting point of 28.5 °C (83.3 °F), which makes it one of only five elemental metals that are liquid at or near room temperature. Caesium is an alkali metal and has physical and chemical properties similar to those of rubidium and potassium. The metal is extremely reactive and pyrophoric, reacting with water even at −116 °C (−177 °F). It is the least electronegative element. It has only one stable isotope, caesium-133. Caesium is mined mostly from pollucite, while the radioisotopes, especially caesium-137, a fission product, are extracted from waste produced by nuclear reactors.
The German chemist Robert Bunsen and physicist Gustav Kirchhoff discovered caesium in 1860 by the newly developed method of flame spectroscopy. The first small-scale applications for caesium were as a "getter" in vacuum tubes and in photoelectric cells. In 1967, acting on Einstein's proof that the speed of light is the most constant dimension in the universe, the International System of Unitsused two specific wave counts from an emission spectrum of caesium-133 to co-define the second and the metre. Since then, caesium has been widely used in highly accurate atomic clocks.
Since the 1990s, the largest application of the element has been as caesium formate for drilling fluids, but it has a range of applications in the production of electricity, in electronics, and in chemistry. The radioactive isotope caesium-137 has a half-life of about 30 years and is used in medical applications, industrial gauges, and hydrology. Although the element is only mildly toxic, the metal is a hazardous material and the radioisotopes would present a significant health and ecological hazard in the environment.
cesium (IUPAC Name); Caesium