Element Factfile: Cesium

Today's element


itch-packshotOut now, the book follows Itchingham Lofte – known as Itch- who is an element-hunter! He’s decided to collect all the elements in the periodic table, which has some rather destructive results in his bedroom!

However, when he discovers a brand new element, never seen before, he ends up with unwanted attention and a lot of danger.

Itch is written by Simon Mayo and published by Random House – out now.

So you can become an element hunter too, we’ve put together fact files on some key elements you’ll want to catch!

Today’s is… Cesium

Here’s what Itch has got to say:

[audio:http://funkidslive.com/podcasts/33/audio/podcast-2012-03-09-59022.mp3|artists=Cesium|titles=Element Fact Files with Fun Kids]

cesiumWhilst not quite as explosive as Francium, this metallic element still reacts very violently with water and ice, forming the strongest base known today – so strong that it attacks glass!

It was first discovered back in 1860, by Robert Wilhelm Bunsen and Gustav Robert Kirchoff, German chemists, through the spectroscopic analysis of Durkheim mineral water. They named cesium after the blue lines they observed in its spectrum.

However, with the second lowest melting point of all metallic elements cesium has so far been limited in its uses.

But recently it’s been discovered that there’s much more this element can offer. Since it is easily ionized and has a high mass, it’s currently being looked at as a way to propel spacecrafts in the future!

Check out all the elements: