Granular aluminum for future computers

Computers based on quantum mechanical principles can solve certain tasks particularly efficiently. Their information carriers, the so-called qubits, not only have the values "0" and "1," but also states in between, called ...

A new manufacturing process for aluminum alloys

An advanced manufacturing process to produce nano structured rods and tubes directly from high-performance aluminum alloy powder—in a single step—was recently demonstrated by researchers from the Pacific Northwest National ...

A deorbit kit for satellites based on low work-function tethers

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) coordinates a European research project, called E.T.PACK, whose objective is the development of a new system for deorbiting space satellites without using on board power and fuel. For ...

New material also reveals new quasiparticles

Researchers at PSI have investigated a novel crystalline material that exhibits electronic properties that have never been seen before. It is a crystal of aluminum and platinum atoms arranged in a special way. In the symmetrically ...

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Aluminium

US i/əˈluːmɨnəm/ ə-loo-mi-nəm

Aluminium or aluminum (US English) is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances. Aluminium is the third most abundant element (after oxygen and silicon), and the most abundant metal, in the Earth's crust. It makes up about 8% by weight of the Earth's solid surface. Aluminium metal is too reactive chemically to occur natively. Instead, it is found combined in over 270 different minerals. The chief ore of aluminium is bauxite.

Aluminium is remarkable for the metal's low density and for its ability to resist corrosion due to the phenomenon of passivation. Structural components made from aluminium and its alloys are vital to the aerospace industry and are important in other areas of transportation and structural materials. The most useful compounds of aluminium, at least on a weight basis, are the oxides and sulfates.

Despite its prevalence in the environment, aluminium salts are not known to be used by any form of life. In keeping with its pervasiveness, it is well tolerated by plants and animals. Because of their prevalence, potential biological roles, beneficial and otherwise, aluminium compounds are of continuing interest.

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