gallium


gallium

Metallic chemical element, chemical symbol Ga, atomic number 31. Silvery white and soft enough to be cut with a knife, gallium has an unusually low melting point (about 30 °C [86 °F]), which allows it to liquefy in the palm of the hand. The liquid metal clings to or wets glass and similar surfaces. Gallium expands on solidification and supercools readily, remaining liquid at temperatures as low as 0 °C (32 °F). In various combinations with aluminum, indium, phosphorus, arsenic, and antimony, it forms compounds (e.g., gallium arsenide and indium gallium arsenide phosphide) with valuable semiconductor and optoelectronic properties; some of these compounds form the basis for such electronic devices as light-emitting diodes and semiconductor lasers.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on gallium, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up gallium? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More