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 ...

Researchers add porous envelope to aluminum plasmonics

When Rice University chemist and engineer Hossein Robatjazi set out to marry a molecular sieve called MOF to a plasmonic aluminum nanoparticle two years ago, he never imagined the key would be the same process nature uses ...

Sound and light trapped by disorder

Sound and light are crucial for our life and are essential in many energy, communication and information technologies. Their interaction allows many fundamental observations in physics, from the detection of cosmic gravitational ...

Nano-sized diamond will improve materials for maritime transport

An experiment on the introduction of nanoscale diamond into an aluminum melt using ultrasonic treatment at the Brunel University (London, United Kingdom) has been completed. The result will be used to create new materials, ...

New materials exhibit split personality

Julia Greer, professor of materials science, mechanics and medical engineering in Caltech's Division of Engineering and Applied Science, creates materials out of micro- and nano-scale building blocks that are arranged into ...

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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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