The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Density of Osmium

An educational, fair use website

search icon
Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Newton, David E. "Osmium." Chemical Elements: From Carbon to Krypton. Vol. 2. UXL, 1999. 392. "Its density if 22.5 grams per cubic centimeter. These numbers are the highest of any platinum metal." 22,500 kg/m3
"Osmium." Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. 9th ed. Vol. 12. McGraw-Hill Companies, 2002. 610.
Property Value
Density, g/cm3 22.6
22,600 kg/m3
Selby, Samuel M., and Robert C. Weast, and. Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Cleveland, Ohio: Chemical Rubber Company, 1967: 4-20. "Calculations of the density from the space lattice which may be more reliable for these elements than actual measurements, however, give a density of 22.65 for iridium compared to 226.61 [sic] for osmium." 22,661 kg/m3
Griffith, Bill. Bicentenary of Four Platinum Group Metals. Platinum Metals Review. 29 May 2007. "It is now clear that osmium (density 22.587 ± 0.009 g•cm−3) is very slightly denser than iridium (22.562 ± 0.009 g•cm−3) (34)." 22,587 kg/m3

Osmium is a densest metal found on the periodic table. The density of the metal is roughly 22,600 kg/m3 which is attained by dividing mass over volume.

It was discovered in 1803 by the English chemist, Smithson Tennant who used the Greek term, "osme," or smell to describe its unpleasant odor. It is characterized by a bluish silvery, shiny color with a melting point of 3,054°C. Because of its extremely high melting point, osmium cannot be easily melted and shaped like other metals. These properties make it one of the hardest platinum metals on the periodic table.

Osmium is a rare metal occurring naturally in the Earth's crust of about 0.001 parts per million. It can be obtained when platinum metal is extracted from its ores. There are few uses of osmium including its use in alloys in which the element is added to platinum or iridium to create an every harder metal. Some of the bets fountain points are made from osmium- platinum alloys. This combination is ever harder than pure platinum. Common uses of osmium include its mix in alloys to create electrical switch contacts, fountain pen tips and phonograph needles. Another use of osmium is as a catalyst. Sometimes osmium is used as a catalyst to speed up the process of combining hydrogen and nitrogen.

Karmen Ho -- 2007