Gallium is a chemical element that is often considered to be one of the smallest elements on the periodic table. Despite its small size, gallium is incredibly important in various industries and applications. In this article, we will explore why gallium is smaller than aluminium and how this affects its uses.
Gallium’s Small Size
Gallium is classified as a metal and is located in the boron group of the periodic table. It has an atomic number of 31 and an atomic weight of 69.723. Gallium is one of the smallest elements, with an atomic radius of 1.87 angstroms, which is significantly smaller than the atomic radius of aluminium, which is 1.43 angstroms. This small size is attributed to the fact that gallium has fewer protons and electrons than aluminium, which results in the element having a smaller atomic radius.
Comparing Gallium and Aluminium
When comparing gallium and aluminium, the most noticeable difference is their size. As mentioned above, gallium has a much smaller atomic radius than aluminium, which means it is much more compact and dense. This smaller size makes gallium ideal for certain applications, such as electronics, where its small size allows for more efficient circuitry. Additionally, gallium has a higher melting point than aluminium, which makes it more suitable for certain industrial processes.
Another difference between gallium and aluminium is their reactivity. Gallium is more reactive than aluminium, which makes it more prone to corroding and rusting. This makes gallium less suitable for certain applications where corrosion is a concern.
Overall, gallium is a much smaller element than aluminium, which makes it ideal for certain applications. Its small size allows for efficient circuitry and its higher melting point makes it suitable for certain industrial processes. However, its increased reactivity also makes it less suitable for certain applications where corrosion is a concern.