It melts in water but is more expensive than gold. What is the use of cesium, the worst-tempered metal?
When it comes to the worst-tempered metal, cesium must do its part. However, with its extremely unstable characteristics, it has ascended to the "altar" in metal. Worth much more than gold, what does this untouchable metal mean to us? Today, let's take a look at the metal cesium from a scientific point of view.
Cesium is a kind of active metal whose element is golden yellow. The biggest difference between cesium and the metals we often see in nature is that this element is very unstable. Its melting point is 28.44 degrees Celsius, it can be melted in the hand, and it will scorch the flesh, so this metal is "untouchable". Because of its extremely low melting point, it is very easy to oxidize in the air. And when the metal reacts with water, the energy released is higher than that of sodium, and it can quickly generate hydrogen and explode. It only takes 2 grams of cesium to fry a porcelain tub.
Because the chemical properties of cesium are extremely active, there is no elemental form in nature. Most of them exist in the form of salt, but also in water with a higher mineral content. Therefore, the discovery of cesium element is not easy. And unlike ordinary metals, cesium does not have the robustness that metals generally have, and can be regarded as one of the softest metal elements in the world.
You would never have imagined that such a lively metal would be stored in kerosene, because kerosene can isolate air and water for cesium. Its magic is also that when light hits the metal cesium, cesium can actually release a beam of electrons. We can use this property to make photocells. For example, electronic doors in large shopping malls and institutions are controlled by photocells.
With the in-depth study of it, it has a new role, that is, it is made into a "cesium atomic clock" as a time measurement standard. Despite its hot personality, the accuracy of cesium is unmatched by ordinary metals. Clocks made of it can be accurate to one-billionth, and will not produce a single second error for 300,000 years of continuous use. It can also be measured in a microsecond, which is an indispensable tool for astronomical measurements and spacecraft.
With the development of aerospace technology, the application of cesium element has become more and more extensive. It has been found that the outer electrons of the cesium atom are easily excited and emitted, and then become positively charged cesium ions. The combination of high voltage and strong magnetic field makes cesium ions produce much higher thrust than conventional fuels. For spacecraft engines that require high energy and high thrust, the fuel made of cesium makes the machine even more powerful. This also largely solves the problem of insufficient fuel power in the aerospace field.
The working principle of the cesium ion spacecraft engine is actually very easy to understand. When the engine is running, the cesium fuel will become active due to full contact with the air, and a large amount of cesium vapor will be released. These cesium vapors go through the ionizer for a second "processing" into positively charged cesium ions, which generate energy under extremely strong interactions.
Finally, under the action of the magnetic field, this energy is accelerated to 150 kilometers per second, and ejects the spacecraft from the nozzle, while giving the rocket a strong thrust.
In addition to the above two aspects, people also use it in daily life to irradiate and store food, in medicine to treat cancer, sterilize, and for radiation breeding. It can be said that with the rapid development of technology, more and more new uses of this metal have been developed by people.