|The Element Iron
Iron comes from the Latin word ferrum. From ferrum its symbol became Fe. The atomic number of iron is 26, and its atomic weight is 55.845. Iron is a magnetic, bendable, shiny white metallic element.
Pure iron has a hardness that ranges from 4 to 5. It is soft and ductile. Iron can be easily magnetized at ordinary temperatures and at 790°C the magnetic property disappears. Pure iron melts at about 1535°C, boils at 2750°C, and has a specific gravity of 7.86. Chemically, iron is an active metal. When exposed to humid air, iron forms a reddish-brown, flaky, decay known as rust.
Iron is the fourth most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. Because it is so common, iron has been used by human society for thousands of years. Iron was known and used for weapons in prehistoric ages, the earliest example still in existence; a group of rusty iron beads found in Egypt, dates from about 4000BC. This period in history was given the name Iron Age because it was the time...