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A rare metallic element that occurs naturally in small amounts in the Copper sulfide ore germanite, the aluminum oxide ore Bauxite, and in some Zinc ores. Discovered in 1875, gallium is a grayish metal that is a liquid at temperatures slightly above ambient. It is used in solar batteries and as a semiconductor in Laser diodes. Radioactive gallium is used in medical imaging particularly for bone cancer.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Ga; gallio (It.); Gálio (Port.); galio (Esp.)


  • Combustible at 500C.
  • Sensitive to moisture.
  • Inhalation causes irritation.
  • Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in aqua regia and some alkali. Slightly soluble in mercury.

Composition Ga (atomic no. 31)
CAS 7440-55-3
Melting Point 29.78 C
Density 5.907 g/ml
Molecular Weight atomic wt=69.72
Boiling Point 2403 C

Resources and Citations

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Chemical & Engineering News, American Chemical Society, Washington DC, 81 (36) , Sept. 8, 2003 Comment: Oliver Sacks, "Gallium" p. 88
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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