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Copper General

Name:Copper Symbol:Cu
Type:Transition Metal Atomic weight:63.546
Density @ 293 K:8.96 g/cm3 Atomic volume:7.1 cm3/mol

Copper has been known since ancient times and has been used by people for over ten thousand years. The Copper Age sits between the Neothilic (Stone) and Bronze Ages. The Copper Age took place at different times in different cultures, when people began using copper tools alongside stone tools. The word copper is derived from the Latin word 'cuprum' meaning 'metal of Cyprus'. The Mediterranean island of Cyprus was an ancient source of mined copper.

Copper States

State (s, l, g):solid
Melting point:1357.77 K (1084.62 °C) Boiling point:2833 K (2560 °C)

Copper Energies

Specific heat capacity: 0.38 J g-1 K-1 Heat of atomization:338 kJ mol-1
Heat of fusion:13.050 kJ mol-1 Heat of vaporization :300.30 kJ mol-1
1st ionization energy:745.4 kJ mol-1 2nd ionization energy:1957.9 kJ mol-1
3rd ionization energy:3553.5 kJ mol-1 Electron affinity:118.5 kJ mol-1

Copper Oxidation & Electrons

Shells: 2,8,18,1 Electron configuration: [Ar] 3d104s1
Minimum oxidation number: 0 Maximum oxidation number:4
Min. common oxidation no.: 0 Max. common oxidation no.:2
Electronegativity (Pauling Scale):1.95 Polarizability volume:6.7 Å3

Copper Appearance & Characteristics

Structure:fcc: face-centered cubic Color:orange-red
Hardness:3.0 mohs
Harmful effects:

Copper is essential in all plants and animals. Excess copper is, however, toxic.

Cooking acidic food in copper pots can cause toxicity. Copper cookware should be lined to prevent ingestion of toxic verdigris (compounds formed when copper corrodes).


Copper is a reddish orange, soft metal that takes on a bright metallic luster.

It is malleable, ductile, and an excellent conductor of heat and electricity - only silver has a higher electrical conductivity than copper.

Copper surfaces exposed to air gradually tarnish to a dull, brownish color.

If water and air are present, copper will slowly corrode to form the carbonate verdigris often seen on roofs and statues.


As a result of its excellent electrical conductivity, copper's most common use is in electrical equipment such as wiring and motors.

Because it corrodes slowly, copper is used in roofing, guttering, and as rainspouts on buildings.

It is also used in plumbing and in cookware and cooking utensils.

Commercially important alloys such as brass and bronze are made with copper and other metals.

Gun metals and American coins are copper alloys.

Copper sulfate is used as a fungicide and as an algicide in rivers, lakes and ponds.

Copper oxide in Fehling's solution is widely used in tests for the presence of monosaccharides (simple sugars).

Copper Reactions

Reaction with air:mild, w/ht ⇒ CuO, Cu2O Reaction with 6 M HCl:none
Reaction with 15 M HNO3:mild, ⇒ Cu(NO3)2, NOx Reaction with 6 M NaOH:

Copper Compounds

Oxide(s):CuO, Cu2O (cuprite) Chloride(s):CuCl, CuCl2

Copper Radius

Atomic radius:135 pm Ionic radius (1+ ion):91 pm
Ionic radius (2+ ion):87 pm Ionic radius (3+ ion):68 pm
Ionic radius (2- ion): pm Ionic radius (1- ion): pm

Copper Conductivity

Thermal conductivity:401 W m-1 K-1 Electrical conductivity:60.7 x 106 S m-1

Copper Abundance & Isotopes

Abundance earth's crust:60 parts per million by weight, 19 parts per million by moles
Abundance solar system:700 parts per billion by weight, 10 parts per billion by moles
Cost, pure:$9.76 per 100g
Cost, bulk:$0.66 per 100g

Copper is occasionally found native (i.e. as the uncombined metal), and is also found in many minerals such as the oxide; cuprite (Cu2O), the carbonates; malachite (Cu2CO3(OH)2)and azurite (Cu2(CO3)2(OH)2) and the sulfides; chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) and bornite (Cu5FeS4). Most copper ore is


Copper has 24 isotopes whose half-lives are known, with mass numbers 57 to 80. Of these, four are stable, 63Cu and 65Cu. Over 69.1% of of naturally occurring copper is in the form of 63Cu.

Copper Other



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