The Physics
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Density of Platinum

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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Zumdahl, Steven S., Zumdahl, Susan L., & Decoste, Donald J. World of Chemistry. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002: 141.
Top Ten Elements with Highest Densities
Element Year Discovered Density (g/cm3)
Platinum 1748 21.45
21.45 g/cm3
Grigoriev, Igor S. & Meilikhov, Evgenii Z. Handbook of Physical Quantities.Boca Raton: CRC Press, 1997: 116.
Table 5.1 Density of elements (continued)
Element Atomic Mass, amu Density 103 kg/m3
78 Pt Platinum 195.08 [3] 21.45
21.45 g/cm3
Vines, R.F. The Platinum Metals and their Alloys. New York: The International Nickel Company, Inc., 1941: 16. "Values ranging from 21.3 to 21.5 gm/cm3 at 20°C have been reported for the density of annealed platinum; the best value being about 21.45 gm/cm3 at 20°C." 21.45 g/cm3
Rose, T. Kirke. The Precious Metals, Comprising Gold, Silver and Platinum.New York: D. Van Nostrand Company, 1909: 255. "Pure platinum, according to G. Matthey has a density of 21.46." 21.46 g/cm3
Savitskii, E.M. Physical Metallurgy of Platinum Metals.New York: Pergamon Press, 1978: 31.
Parameters of Crystal Structures of Platinum Group Metals [44 through 47]
Metal Density, g/cm3
Platinum 21.450
21.450 g/cm3

Easily mistakable for silver, platinum is actually not as white as silver but is a grayish white that is much more valuable than gold.

The platinum family metals, consisting of ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and platinum, are transition metals characteristically known for their strong interatomic bonds and high density. The character and strength of these bonds are what determine the crystalline structure and physical properties platinum is most known for-malleable, ductile, corrosion-resistant, high boiling and melting points, stable electrical properties, does not oxidize in air at any temperature, and is insoluble in hydrochloric and nitric acid. With all these valuable properties in mind, platinum has been utilized in many forms of industrial applications. To name a few, the silvery-white metal is found in fine jewelry, laboratory equipment, and dentistry. Although platinum is the most abundant metal out of the group, it is considered to be more precious than gold and generally costs much more.

The density of pure platinum is 21.45 g/cm3, the mass per given volume. However, platinum is often found with small quantities of other platinum family metals in deposits in Columbia, Ontario, the Ural Mountains, and in certain western US states. The percentage of impurities in the metal, whether it is one of the family metals, silicon, or calcium, alters the mechanical properties of the finalized product. The prescence of silicon makes it hard and brittle while metals from the platinum group reduces its ductility. Therefore, special attention must be given to the methods used in melting, refining, and processing the metal to maintain the desired properties.

Olivia Tai -- 2004