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'Fool's gold' may be valuable after all

In a breakthrough new study, scientists and engineers at the University of Minnesota have electrically transformed the abundant and low-cost non-magnetic material iron sulfide, also known as "fool's gold" or pyrite, into ...

Protein discovered inside a meteorite

A team of researchers from Plex Corporation, Bruker Scientific LLC and Harvard University has found evidence of a protein inside of a meteorite. They have written a paper describing their findings and have uploaded it to ...

The Earth's center is 1,000 degrees hotter than previously thought

Scientists have determined the temperature near the Earth's centre to be 6000 degrees Celsius, 1000 degrees hotter than in a previous experiment run 20 years ago. These measurements confirm geophysical models that the temperature ...

Iron nanoparticles make immune cells attack cancer

Stanford researchers accidentally discovered that iron nanoparticles invented for anemia treatment have another use: triggering the immune system's ability to destroy tumor cells.

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Iron

Iron (pronounced /ˈаɪ.ərn/) is a chemical element with the symbol Fe (Latin: ferrum) and atomic number 26. Iron is a group 8 and period 4 element. Iron and iron alloys (steels) are by far the most common metals and the most common ferromagnetic materials in everyday use. Fresh iron surfaces are lustrous and silvery-grey in colour, but oxidise in air to form a red or brown coating of ferrous oxide or rust. Pure single crystals of iron are soft (softer than aluminium), and the addition of minute amounts of impurities, such as carbon, significantly strengthens them. Alloying iron with appropriate small amounts (up to a few per cent) of other metals and carbon produces steel, which can be 1,000 times harder than pure iron.

Iron-56 is the heaviest stable isotope produced by the alpha process in stellar nucleosynthesis; heavier elements than iron and nickel require a supernova for their formation. Iron is the most abundant element in the core of red giants, and is the most abundant metal in iron meteorites and in the dense metal cores of planets such as Earth.

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