|What elements are in diamonds, gold, and rust?
What is the scientific name for rust?
|Question Date: 2005-09-25|
Diamond is 100 % Carbon, atomic number 6 on the periodic table. Gold, symbol Au is atomic number 79 and is like diamond, a pure substance. Rust on the other hand is ferric oxide or Fe2O3. The mineral is called Hematite. It has a blood red streak. That is, if you think you have some hematite, rub the mineral on an unglazed ceramic tile (called a streak plate) and the streak is blood red.
The element in diamond is carbon (symbol C). Try and find C in the periodic table. Diamonds, particularly high quality ones, are very pure carbon. Sometimes however, small amounts of carbons neighbors in the periodic table, such as boron (symbol B), and Nitrogen (symbol N) are also found in diamond. These tend to give diamonds different colors.
Gold is an element (symbol Au). The element symbol Au comes from the Latin word for gold which is aurum. Pure gold is usually only used to store money in banks. In jewelry (which is the biggest use of gold) the gold is usually mixed with some copper (symbol Cu)
to give it more strength.
Rust is usually a mixture of iron (symbol Fe) oxygen (symbol O) and some hydrogen (symbol H). Most rust has the chemical formula FeO2H, also written as FeO (OH), and mineral name of this material is lepidocrocite (pronounced lay-pedo-kro-kite).
First, gold is an element. It is very malleable and ductile. Since pure gold is fairly soft, it is often combined with other metals to make alloys to make it a little stronger. The alloys are what you typically find in jewelry,
Diamonds are made up of the element
carbon. Also, graphite is also made up of carbon. The only difference between the two is the way that the atoms are bonded together.
Interestingly, graphite is the more stable form of carbon, so diamonds will eventually turn into graphite (diamonds aren't really forever!). However, this process takes thousands of years.
Rust is the common name for iron oxide, which as the name implies, is made up of the elements iron and oxygen. The compound is
Fe2O3. Iron combines
quickly with oxygen, and the process of turning
iron to iron oxide is an example of corrosion.
You can see things like steel rust because steel contains iron.
The quick answer is: Diamond is a pure element, carbon; gold is a pure element, gold; and rust is a compound, Iron Oxide, of iron and
Diamond is pure elemental carbon, compressed to its crystal form, under extreme heat and pressure deep within the Earth. The symbol for carbon is C.
Gold is also an element, in and of itself. Its symbol is Au. It does not easily form compounds so it is found by itself, in stream beds (placer deposits) or in veins in rocks.
Rust is a compound: Iron Oxide. It is found all over; everywhere iron and oxygen come in contact! Both iron and oxygen form compounds quite easily, so they are not readily found alone. (The oxygen you breathe is O2, not elemental oxygen.)
Rust can come in different forms, because iron (symbol Fe) normally gives up 2 or 3 electrons when it forms compounds. We call these "oxidation states." When iron gives
up 2 electrons, it gets a +2 charge, and when it
gives up 3 electrons, it gets a +3 charge. To make
a neutral compound it must then bond with some
element in the proper ratio so as to remove
its "excess" positive charge (or, replace its
deficit negative charge).
Oxygen (symbol O) normally takes 2 electrons when bonding with metals (including hydrogen). So, for a balanced compound of iron oxide, you have either FeO or Fe2O3. Here's what I mean: For FeO, you have one Fe(+2) and one O(-2) = FeO. This compound is also called Iron(II)Oxide. It is one form of rust. The charges balance like this:(+2) + (-2) = 2 - 2 = 0.
The other form of rust, Fe2O3, is two Fe(+3) and three O(-2), written
Fe2O3, and also called
Iron(III)Oxide. The charges balance like
this:2(+3) + 3(-2) = 6 - 6 = 0.
I hope this
helps. Best wishes.
Diamond is a polymorph of the element carbon (C). To give you an idea of the many uses of carbon, the macromolecules in our bodies, including DNA, proteins, sugars, and lipids, all contain carbon. Also, the soft lead in your
pencil, graphite, is also made up of carbon. The
element in gold is of course, gold (Au). The most
pure form of gold jewelry as you probably know is
24 karats meaning no other elements are present
within the stone. Common impurities in lower
karat gold include silver (Ag), copper(Cu), and
Rust is iron-oxide consisting of the elements iron and oxygen. When water touches
an iron surface the water starts reacting with
carbon dioxide in the air and forms carbonic acid, a weak acid. The presence of the acid causes the iron to dissolve. At the same time, the water starts breaking apart into oxygen and hydrogen. The oxygen from the breakdown of water reacts with the dissolved iron forming iron oxide, rust.
Gold is an element, meaning that it
consists only of one type of atom that cannot be chemically broken down into smaller parts. The only way to break gold down into smaller
components would be through nuclear reactions that change the number of protons and electrons, the positively and negatively charged particles, inside the gold atoms.
The element gold is denoted by the symbol Au in the Periodic Table of Elements. Gold is characterized by having 79 protons and, in its elemental or uncharged state, also has 79 electrons. In its most common isotope, gold has 118 neutrons. Gold is typically
found in nature in very small quantities mixed
into a type of rock called ore, but can also be found in riverbed sediments.
Diamonds are composed almost entirely of the element carbon, often with some other impurities in them, such as nitrogen (i.e., pure diamonds are entirely carbon). The element carbon comes in three different natural forms, or allotropes: diamond,
graphite, and amorphous. Although each of these
forms is composed entirely of carbon, the carbon atoms are organized and bonded differently, creating unique properties for each.
Diamonds are formed under extreme pressure and heat, 100-200 kilometers below the Earth's surface, by bonding carbon into a three-dimensional crystal network. Diamonds are the hardest natural substance known to us. Graphite differs from diamonds in that the
carbon atoms are bonded into flat sheets, creating
a black, slippery substance that is one of the
softest substances known to man. Graphite is what
pencil lead is made out of. Amorphous carbon,
otherwise known as soot, forms when a carbon-based
material burns, or combusts, without enough oxygen
to convert it completely to carbon dioxide.
Carbon is characterized by having
6 protons and 6 electrons, and usually 6 neutrons.
This isotope of carbon is called carbon-12, with
the number 12 referring to the atomic mass, or
number of neutrons plus protons. Carbon also
exists in the isotope carbon-14, with 8 neutrons, but this form is unstable (a radioactive isotope) and decays into nitrogen-14 over time by releasing an electron and converting a neutron into a proton. For more information about carbon, see this web page:
Rust is a molecule that is composed of two elements: iron (Fe, atomic number 26) and oxygen (O, atomic number 8). The chemical formula for rust is Fe2O3,which is called iron oxide, but is also known as ferric oxide or hematite, among other names. The word ferric refers to iron ions with a
+3 charge (or with 23 electrons), whereas ferrous
refers to iron ions with a +2 charge (or with 24
electrons). I think these words may have a Latin
derivation, although I am not certain what their
Latin meanings or root is.
Rust forms when the oxygen in air or in water combines with iron, which is a major component of steel, for example. Each oxygen atom essentially steals two electrons from the iron, forming oxygen atoms with a 2 charge (O-2 ions), while each iron atom donates three electrons to the oxygen, forming iron atoms with a +3 charge (Fe+3 ions, also known as ferric).
Since the oxygen ions are negatively charged and the iron ions are positively charged, they attract and create an ionic bond that forms rust. This type of reaction is known as a reduction-oxidation reaction, or a red-ox reaction, where oxygen is said to be reduced (hence the reduction, or decrease, in oxygens electric charge) and the iron is said to be oxidized by the oxygen. The chemical equation for the formation of rust is:
4(Fe) + 3(O2) =
4(Fe+3) + 6(O-2) = 2
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