Caesium

1.873
132.905
[Xe] 6s1
133Cs
1
6
s
55
2, 8, 18, 18, 8, 1
375.705
Cs
1.873
28.5°C, 83.3°F, 301.7 K
671°C, 1240°F, 944 K
Gustav Kirchhoff and Robert Bunsen
1860
7440-46-2
4510778
More Information
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Uses and Properties

Image Explanation

Adhering to the International System of Units (SI), a second is defined as the time duration encompassing 9,192,631,779 (9 billion, 192 million, 631 thousand, 779) cycles of radiation resulting from the energy level transition of the cesium-133 atom.

Appearance

Caesium is a soft, gold-coloured metal that is quickly attacked by air and reacts explosively in water.

Uses

Caesium Unveiled: Harnessing the Potential Across Diverse Applications


In the vast landscape of chemical elements, caesium, spelled with the chemical symbol Cs, emerges as a versatile and intriguing element with applications that span across various scientific, industrial, and technological domains. This article delves into the myriad uses of caesium, shedding light on its unique properties that contribute to advancements in different fields.

 

1. Atomic Clocks: Pioneering Precision in Timekeeping


One of the standout applications of caesium lies in the realm of timekeeping. Caesium atomic clocks have revolutionized the definition of the second. By leveraging the inherent stability of the caesium-133 isotope, scientists can measure time with unprecedented precision. These atomic clocks operate based on the characteristic vibrations of caesium atoms, specifically the transitions between energy levels, providing a foundation for the accurate measurement of time intervals.

 

2. Ion Propulsion in Space Exploration: Pushing the Boundaries of Efficiency


Caesium's application extends beyond Earth's atmosphere into the cosmos. In the field of space exploration, caesium takes center stage in ion propulsion systems. Ion thrusters, which utilize caesium as a propellant, offer significantly higher efficiency compared to traditional chemical rockets. The unique properties of caesium contribute to prolonged operational lifetimes and fuel efficiency, making it a preferred choice for spacecraft engaged in deep space missions.

 

3. Catalysis in Organic Chemistry: Facilitating Transformative Reactions


Caesium compounds play a pivotal role in organic chemistry as catalysts, facilitating various transformative reactions. Caesium carbonate, for instance, is employed in organic synthesis to promote reactions such as the Williamson ether synthesis and the Claisen condensation. The use of caesium catalysts enhances reaction rates and selectivity, contributing to the efficiency of chemical processes in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, polymers, and other organic compounds.

 

4. Caesium Formate Brine: Innovating in Drilling Fluids


In the realm of oil and gas exploration, caesium formate brine has become a critical component of drilling fluids. This high-density fluid, which contains caesium formate salts dissolved in water, is utilized in drilling operations to control well pressure and prevent blowouts. The unique density and stability of caesium formate brine make it an effective solution for maintaining wellbore integrity and enhancing safety in drilling operations.

 

5. Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy: Unveiling the Secrets of Materials


Caesium-137, a radioactive isotope of caesium, finds application in gamma-ray spectroscopy. This technique is employed in various fields, including environmental monitoring and geological exploration. By detecting and analyzing gamma-ray emissions from caesium-137, scientists can gain insights into the composition of materials, helping identify elements and understand their distribution in diverse environments.

 

6. Electrolyte in Advanced Batteries: Powering the Future of Energy Storage


In the pursuit of sustainable energy solutions, caesium has emerged as a key player in advanced battery technologies. Caesium-ion batteries, which utilize caesium ions as charge carriers, show promise in energy storage applications. The unique electrochemical properties of caesium contribute to the development of high-performance batteries with potential applications in renewable energy storage and electric vehicles.

 

7. Photocathodes in Photoelectric Cells: Converting Light to Electricity


Caesium compounds, particularly caesium telluride, are employed as photocathodes in photoelectric cells. These cells convert light energy into electric current, and the use of caesium enhances the efficiency of this process. Caesium's photoemissive properties make it a valuable component in devices such as photomultiplier tubes and image intensifiers, crucial in scientific instruments, night vision technology, and medical imaging.

 

8. Nuclear Reactor Control: Ensuring Safe and Efficient Operations


In the field of nuclear energy, caesium plays a vital role in controlling nuclear reactors. Caesium-137, produced as a byproduct in nuclear fission reactions, is used in the form of radioactive sources for measuring and regulating neutron flux in reactors. This application ensures the safe and efficient operation of nuclear power plants.

 

Conclusion: Caesium - Unleashing Potential Across Disciplines


As we explore the diverse applications of caesium, it becomes evident that this element is not merely a participant but a catalyst for innovation across a spectrum of scientific and industrial endeavors. From redefining time with atomic clocks to propelling spacecraft into the cosmos, caesium's versatility and unique properties continue to shape the landscape of technology and discovery. As research and technological advancements progress, caesium remains a key player, unlocking new possibilities and contributing to the ever-evolving tapestry of human knowledge and progress.

History

In the captivating narrative of the periodic table, Caesium, distinguished by the symbol Cs, emerges as an element with a storied history that spans centuries. The journey of Caesium from its discovery to its diverse applications in modern science and technology is a fascinating tale of scientific curiosity, exploration, and innovation.

 

1. Discovery: Unveiling a Novel Element in 1860


The story of Caesium begins in 1860 when two German chemists, Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff, were exploring the mineral water springs near Durkheim. During their investigations, they discovered a new line in the spectrum of the mineral water, indicating the presence of an unknown alkali metal. This marked the birth of Caesium, named after the Latin word "caesius," meaning sky blue, owing to the distinctive blue lines in its spectrum.

 

2. Separation and Isolation: Overcoming Challenges


The isolation of Caesium posed significant challenges due to its close chemical resemblance to potassium, another alkali metal. The duo of Bunsen and Kirchhoff, along with the subsequent efforts of chemists Carl Setterberg and Carl Karsten, worked to overcome these challenges. Through meticulous separation techniques, Caesium chloride was eventually isolated, allowing for further exploration of its properties.

 

3. First Elemental Form: A Glimpse into Caesium's Character


In 1881, the French chemist Georges-Fernand-Louis Demoisson successfully isolated Caesium in its elemental form. This marked a crucial milestone, providing scientists with the opportunity to study the physical and chemical properties of the newly discovered element. Caesium's low melting point and high reactivity became apparent, setting it apart from other alkali metals.

 

4. Applications in Photoelectric Cells: Illuminating a New Era


As the 20th century unfolded, researchers began to unlock the potential applications of Caesium in the emerging field of electronics. Caesium compounds, particularly caesium telluride, found utility as photocathodes in photoelectric cells. These cells, which convert light into electric current, became instrumental in scientific instruments, night vision technology, and medical imaging.

 

5. Atomic Clocks: Precision Redefined


Caesium's role in redefining precision timekeeping took center stage in the mid-20th century. The realization that the vibrations of Caesium atoms could serve as a stable reference for time measurement led to the development of Caesium atomic clocks. In 1967, the International System of Units (SI) redefined the second based on the vibrations of Caesium-133 atoms, a standard that continues to govern timekeeping with extraordinary accuracy.

 

6. Oil and Gas Industry: Caesium Formate Brine Innovations


In the latter part of the 20th century, Caesium found applications in the oil and gas industry. Caesium formate brine, a high-density fluid, became a critical component in drilling operations. This innovative solution, utilizing Caesium salts dissolved in water, helped control well pressure and prevent blowouts, contributing to enhanced safety and wellbore integrity in drilling operations.

 

7. Space Exploration: Propelling Discoveries Beyond Earth


Caesium's journey extended beyond terrestrial applications into the realm of space exploration. Ion propulsion systems, powered by Caesium, revolutionized spacecraft propulsion. The efficiency and extended operational lifetimes offered by Caesium-fueled ion thrusters became instrumental in deep space missions, pushing the boundaries of what was achievable in our exploration of the cosmos.

 

8. Continued Innovation: Caesium in Advanced Batteries


As the 21st century unfolds, Caesium continues to be at the forefront of innovation. Research into advanced battery technologies has highlighted the potential of Caesium-ion batteries. Leveraging Caesium ions as charge carriers, these batteries hold promise for energy storage applications, contributing to the development of sustainable and high-performance battery solutions.

 

Conclusion: Caesium - A Elemental Saga of Exploration and Innovation


The history of Caesium is a testament to the curiosity, perseverance, and ingenuity of scientists throughout the ages. From its discovery in the 19th century to its pivotal role in defining time and propelling spacecraft in the 20th and 21st centuries, Caesium's journey reflects the ever-evolving intersection of science and technology. As research continues and new applications emerge, Caesium remains a luminous element, casting its brilliance across diverse fields and pushing the boundaries of what is achievable in the realms of science and exploration.

Atomic Data

Atomic Radiues, Non-bonded (A): 3.43
Electron Affinity (kJ mol-1): 45.505
Covalent Radiues (A): 2.38
Electronegativity (Pauling Scale): 0.79
Ionisation Energies (kJ mol-1) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
375.705 2234.353 - - - - - -

Oxidation States and Isotopes

Common oxidation states 1
Isotope Atomic Mass Natural Abundance Half Life Mode of Decay
133Cs 132.905 100 - -

Supply Risk

Relative Supply Risk: Unknown
Crustal Abundance (ppm): 3
Recycle Rate (%): Unknown
Production Conc.(%) : Unknown
Top 3 Producers:
Unknown
Top 3 Reserve Holders:
Unknown
Substitutability: Unknown
Political Stability of Top Producer: Unknown
Political Stability of Top Reserve Holder: Unknown

Pressure and Temperature Data

Specific Heat Capacity: 242
Shear Modulus: Unknown
Young Modulus: Unknown
Bulk Modulus: 1.6
Pressure 400k Pressure 600k Pressure 800k Pressure 1000k Pressure 1200k Pressure 1400k Pressure 1600k Pressure 1800k Pressure 2000k Pressure 2200k Pressure 2400k
- - - - - - - - - - 1.6

Podcast

Transcript :

The chemical symbol for Cesium is C s. It is among the family of alkaline metals. On the periodic table, it is at position 55. It has 40 known isotopes. Cesium's radioactive isotopes might be discharged into the atmosphere in the event of a nuclear disaster. However, they have short half-lives. Most of them are under an hour. Radioactive Cesium is a hazardous material.

In the mid-twentieth century, early ion propulsion motors utilized Cesium as a propellant. Despite the advantages of Cesium, the cost of the metal made it uneconomical to use. Since the late 1950s, the metal has been recognized as an industrial metal. In 1860, German physicist Gustav Robert Kirchhoff discovered the element. His first observation of Caesium was the appearance of blue lines in the spectrum. He and chemist Robert Bunsen were both experimenting with spectroscopy. They used the newly developed spectroscope to discover the new chemical element.

The discovery of Caesium was made by spectroscopic analysis of mineral water in Durkheim, Germany. A further experiment included electrolytic molten Caesium cyanide by Carl Theodor Setterberg from the university of Bonn. The chemical caesium became the first to be identified using spectroscopy. A spectroscope is a specialized instrument that enables the identification of elements by observing the wavelengths of light given off by hot atoms.

The occurrence of Cesium is fairly rare in nature, it is produced in significant quantities in mining and petroleum industries. A good example of this is the world's largest pollucite deposit in Bernic Lake, Manitoba. Located in Canada, this lake has a total surface area of ten square miles and contains over 300,000 metric tons of pollucite. It's the 45th most prevalent elements in the crust of the Earth and may be found in a concentration of roughly 3 parts per million on average. Smaller deposits are found in Mongolia and Kazakhstan. A number of companies are involved in mining the metal, including Agnico Eagle Mines, Teck Resources, and Pretium Resources. Electrolysis and reductions are only two of the many methods that may be used to manufacture it.

 

Caesium is a ductile alkaline metal that has a reflective silvery gold color, the only other metal besides gold and copper that is not silvery in color. When heated, it becomes a gas with a blue flame. Cesium is a reactive element that oxidizes explosively with water at low temperature. This process is known as alkali-hydrogen fusion, and the resulting hydrogen gas is exothermic. Cesium metal reacts with halogens to form the following inorganic compounds: Caesium fluoride, Caesium chloride, Caesium bromide, and Caesium iodide. This element is among the five elements that can be found in liquid form even at room temperature since it has a low melting point of 28.5ºC. Caesium has affinity for oxygen. In presence of oxygen, it develops a silvery-gold hue.

Caesium has a wide range of applications. It is used to make special optical glass, and its compounds are widely used in vacuum tubes, and drilling fluids.

It plays a significant role in the manufacturing of a variety of goods, including fertilizers, insecticides, and many more. Historically, Caesium was used in electrical and chemical fields. The element was used as a getter in photoelectric cells. Today, non-radioactive Caesium is used in several organic reactions. This element is also used in photoelectric cells and magnetohydrodynamic power generators. It is used in medical applications and is used in the atomic clock and considered the most accurate type of clock yet developed.

Caesium is a common component of sensor and compressed air getters. It's also a positively charged ion in inductively coupled plasma masses spectrometer, which is a common analytical technique. As an example, Caesium is used in a number of medical applications. The treatment of cancer is one such example. Additionally, food irradiation is another use. By irradiating food with Cesium-137, the radioactive isotope kills bacteria and germs. Several foods, such as wheat, flour and potatoes can be preserved by this type of irradiation. It is also a component of scintillation counters, which are used for detecting radiation.

References


  • W. M. Haynes, ed., CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, CRC Press/Taylor and Francis, Boca Raton, FL, 95th Edition, Internet Version 2015, accessed December 2014.

  • Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants, Kaye & Laby Online, 16th edition, 1995. Version 1.0 (2005), accessed December 2014.

  • J. S. Coursey, D. J. Schwab, J. J. Tsai, and R. A. Dragoset, Atomic Weights and Isotopic Compositions (version 4.1), 2015, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, accessed November 2016.

  • T. L. Cottrell, The Strengths of Chemical Bonds, Butterworth, London, 1954.

  • John Emsley, Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements, Oxford University Press, New York, 2nd Edition, 2011.

  • Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility - Office of Science Education, It’s Elemental - The Periodic Table of Elements, accessed December 2014.