Lead is a chemical element with the symbol Pb (Latin: plumbum) and atomic number 82. A soft, heavy, toxic and malleable poor metal, lead is bluish white when freshly cut, but tarnishes to dull gray when exposed to air. Lead is used in building construction, lead-acid batteries, bullets and shot, weights, and is part of solder, pewter, and fusible alloys. Lead has the highest atomic number of all stable elements, although the next element, bismuth, has a half-life so long (longer than the estimated age of the universe) it can be considered stable. Like mercury, another heavy metal, lead is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in soft tissues and bone over time.
Lead has a dull luster and is a dense, ductile, very soft, highly malleable, bluish-white metal that has poor electrical conductivity. This true metal is highly resistant to corrosion, and because of this property, it is used to contain corrosive liquids (e.g. sulfuric acid). Lead can be toughened by adding a small amount of antimony or other metals to it. It is a common misconception that lead has a zero Thomson effect. All lead, except 204Pb, is the end product of a complex radioactive decay (see isotopes of lead below). Lead is also poisonous.
||Melting point /°C
|No. of naturally occurring isotopes
||Boiling point /°C
|Band gap Eg/kJ mol-1
|Ionization energy /kJmol-111
|Ionization energy IcJmol-1III
||rIV (ionic, 6-coordinate)/pm
||rIV (ionic, 6-coordinate) pm
|Electrical resistivity (20°C)/μohm cm
|Temperature (oC) @Vap. Pressure
||Al2O3 & Quartz
||Tungsten & Molybdenum
||Toxic. Carefully controlled rates required For superconductors
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