Cobalt

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Cobalt, Co, 27, is a fairly simple metal in the transition metals section of the periodic table. Cobalt is rather common looking, being just a typical silver color, but has some very unique traits.

When you hear cobalt, you might think of "cobalt blue", which probably doesn't make sense because I just told you it was a silver metal, however, cobalt chloride, being combination of cobalt and chlorine (CoCl ), is a very beautiful deep blue, and is used it paints, glazes, and glass dying, so the blue reference to cobalt is perfectly justified.

Cobalt can be used in many different alloys, if you go to a hardware store there will probably be "cobalt" drill bits, which aren't actually cobalt, but have a little cobalt mixed in with the steel to make it harder, and therefor help it stay sharp longer. Cobalt is also commonly used in some magnet alloys, being alloys of metal that make good magnets, and before neodymium(a different rare metal) magnets where common, cobalt-sumarium magnets where the best magnets available.

Cobalt also has interesting nuclear uses, it is not radioactive, but rather it absorbs radioactivity very well, so it can effectively "poison" radioactive situations and stop them before they become a problem. Nuclear reactors commonly have cobalt rods known as "control rods" which can be inserted into any uranium-fueled reactor and slow it down quite quickly. As a result of all the radiation, the cobalt tends to change into the isotope (see Radioactivity for more on isotopes) cobalt-60, which is radioactive, and was formerly used in some vacuum tubes where a source of radiation was needed.

These are my samples!

Cobalt Glass

Oxides and chlorides of cobalt are very beautiful deep blue colors, so naturally at some point in time someone thought it a good idea to mix it with glass, much like many other colorful minerals. I don't have any pure cobalt yet because it's uses are limited, and it's not particularly high on my shopping list, so I probably won't for awhile...

Date added(year-month-day):20110724, sample number:20

Tags(Elements in sample):cobalt

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