Periodic Table of Elements

Element Copper - Cu

Comprehensive data on the chemical element Copper is provided on this page; including scores of properties, element names in many languages, most known nuclides of Copper. Common chemical compounds are also provided for many elements. In addition technical terms are linked to their definitions and the menu contains links to related articles that are a great aid in one's studies.

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Overview of Copper

Copper's Name in Other Languages

  • Latin: Cuprum
  • Czech: Měd´
  • Croatian: Bakar
  • French: Cuivre
  • German: Kupfer - e
  • Italian: Rame
  • Norwegian: Kobber
  • Portuguese: Cobre
  • Russian: Медь
  • Spanish: Cobre
  • Swedish: Koppar

Atomic Structure of Copper

Chemical Properties of Copper

Physical Properties of Copper

  • Atomic Mass Average: 63.546
  • Boiling Point: 2840K 2567°C 4653°F
  • Coefficient of lineal thermal expansion/K-1: 16.5E-6
  • Conductivity
    Electrical: 0.596 106/cm Ω
    Thermal: 4.01 W/cmK
  • Density: 8.96g/cc @ 300K
  • Description:
    Reddish orange transition metal.
  • Elastic Modulus:
    • Bulk: 137.8/GPa
    • Rigidity: 48.3/GPa
    • Youngs: 129.8/GPa
  • Enthalpy of Atomization: 338.9 kJ/mole @ 25°C
  • Enthalpy of Fusion: 13.01 kJ/mole
  • Enthalpy of Vaporization: 304.6 kJ/mole
  • Flammablity Class: Non-combustible solid (except as dust)
  • Freezing Point: see melting point
  • Hardness Scale
    • Brinell: 874 MN m-2
    • Mohs: 3
    • Vickers: 369 MN m-2
  • Heat of Vaporization: 300.3kJ/mol
  • Melting Point: 1357.75K 1084.6°C 1984.3°F
  • Molar Volume: 7.11 cm3/mole
  • Optical Reflectivity: 90%
  • Physical State (at 20°C & 1atm): Solid
  • Specific Heat: 0.38J/gK
  • Vapor Pressure = 0.0505Pa@1084.6°C

Regulatory / Health

  • CAS Number
    • 7440-50-8
  • RTECS: GL5325000
  • NFPA 704
    • Health: 2
    • Fire:
    • Reactivity:
    • Special Hazard:
  • OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL)
  • OSHA PEL Vacated 1989
  • NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit (REL)
  • Routes of Exposure: Inhalation; Ingestion; Skin and/or eye contact
  • Target Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system, liver, kidneys (increase(d) risk with Wilson's disease)
  • Levels In Humans:
    Note: this data represents naturally occuring levels of elements in the typical human, it DOES NOT represent recommended daily allowances.
    • Blood/mg dm-3: 1.01
    • Bone/p.p.m: 1-26
    • Liver/p.p.m: 30
    • Muscle/p.p.m: 10
    • Daily Dietary Intake: 0.50-6 mg
    • Total Mass In Avg. 70kg human: 72 mg

Who / Where / When / How

  • Discoverer: Known to ancient civilization
  • Discovery Location: Unknown
  • Discovery Year: Unknown
  • Name Origin:
    Latin: cyprium (island of Cyprus famed for its copper mines).
  • Abundance of Copper:
    • Earth's Crust/p.p.m.: 50
    • Seawater/p.p.m.:
      • Atlantic Suface: 0.00008
      • Atlantic Deep: 0.00012
      • Pacific Surface: 0.00008
      • Pacific Deep: 0.00028
    • Atmosphere/p.p.m.: N/A
    • Sun (Relative to H=1E12): 1.15
  • Sources of Copper:
    Pure copper occurs rarely in nature. Usually copper found in such minerals as azurite, malachite and bornite and in sulfides as in chalcopyrite (CuFeS2), coveline (CuS), chalcosine (Cu2S) or oxides like cuprite (Cu2O). Copper is obtained by smelting, leaching and by electrolysis. Annual world production is around 6,540,000 tons. Primary mining areas are in USA, Zaire, Zambia, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Russia and Australia.
  • Uses of Copper:
    Most often used as an electrical conductor. Its alloys are used in jewelry, bronze sculptures and for coins. The skin of the Statue of Liberty is made of copper.
  • Additional Notes:
    Copper is a very interesting element. It is one of the transition elements that actually uses electrons from one of the inner orbitals in chemical reactions. In addition, it has more than one oxidation state. Like many of the transition elements, copper has a colored ion. Copper typically forms a bluish green solution. Copper (Cu) has two valences Cu I (cuprous) has one valence electron and Cu II (cupric) has two valence electrons. Copper was one of the earliest known metals, having reportedly been mined for over 5000 years. In nature it has two isotopes, 63 (69.09%), which has 29 electrons and protons and 34 neutrons, and 65 (30.91%), which has 29 electrons and protons and 36 neutrons. Brass and bronze are alloys of copper.

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A list of reference sources used to compile the data provided on our periodic table of elements can be found on the main periodic table page.

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