Meaning of Silver

What is Silver:

Silver is a chemical element belonging to the group of transition metals. It is characterized by its bright white or grayish hue.

The symbol for silver is Ag, which in turn comes from the Latin argentun, whose meaning is "brilliant". While the word silver comes from Latin platus and refers to a metallic foil.

Silver characteristics

Silver has certain characteristics that differentiate it from other elements:

  • It is a metal with high electrical and thermal conductivity, so it could be useful in electrical applications. However, its high price prevents it from being viable.
  • Its surface is fogged in the presence of air with sulfur, ozone or hydrogen sulfide.
  • Silver is a malleable metal, which means that it can deform without breaking.
  • It is found in nature mixed with other metals and to a lesser extent, as a free element.
  • Silver reflects 95% of the light that falls on it, which makes it the metal with the highest reflection index.
  • It can be easily alloyed with almost all metals except iron and cobalt.
  • It is 10.5 times denser than water.

Chemical properties of silver

These are the chemical properties of silver:

  • Atomic number: 47
  • Valencia: 1
  • Atomic mass g / mol: 1 07.87 g.mol -1
  • Electronegativity: 1.9
  • Ionic Radius (nm): 0.126
  • Atomic Radius (nm): 0.144
  • Standard potential: 0.779 V (Ag + / Ag)

Silver applications

In nature, silver is found in combination with chlorine (Cl), arsenic (AS) or sulfur (S). To separate silver from these components, cyanidation is used, a metallurgical technique that consists of mixing silver with calcium cyanide.

Once silver is obtained, it can have multiple industrial applications, such as:

  • Manufacture of integrated circuits for computers.
  • Manufacture of silver iodide, used as an antiseptic and in the photographic industry.
  • Manufacture of contacts for electrical generators.
  • Creation of jewelry or utilitarian objects (cutlery, trays, cup handles).
  • Alloys for dental purposes (such as amalgams), to create new inputs for welding or electric batteries (such as silver-cadmium).
  • Mixtures for medicinal purposes, such as silver nitrate, used to reduce or eliminate warts,
  • Manufacture of coins.

Health effects of silver

Although silver has multiple industrial and artisanal applications, it is a metal that must be handled with minimum safety standards to avoid prolonged direct contact with its components.

These are some effects of silver on the body:

  • Argyria: is a condition characterized by excessive skin coloration, which turns gray or bluish, due to the accumulation of salts or silver components in the body.
  • Eye damage, caused by direct contact of the mucosa with silver in liquid state.
  • Digestive or respiratory damage due to contact with the vapors resulting from the chemical processes to which silver is subjected.
  • Cardiac or central nervous system conditions caused by overexposure to silver or its components.
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