CCW Everyday Carry Submitted By: Q. Anders

Tungsten evaporated crystals and 1cm3 cube (Alchemist-hp (www.pse-mendelejew.de)).

Tungsten is an incredible material. It is dense and hard, and it has the lowest vapor pressure and highest melting temperature of all metals. This combination of properties makes tungsten extremely valuable for a myriad of applications, while at the same time creates great challenges in the processing of the metal.

As a child, I was fascinated by how things work and spent a lot of time taking things apart. As with most budding engineers, I rarely reassembled them. Incandescent bulbs were one of my first quarries, carefully disassembled to reveal a hidden treasure: a tungsten filament. It was amazing that this tiny wire could be heated to white-hot temperatures to produce light.

Also at an early age, I was introduced to vacuum tubes, and to this day they are magical in my eyes. When a tungsten filament is heated in a vacuum, the electrons near the surface become energetic enough to be emitted into the surrounding space. Additional tungsten conductors, in the form of grids and plates, can be added to the bulb, and the electrons can then be manipulated to switch, rectify and amplify These electronic switches were crucial in the development of modern electronics.  

Tungsten at a Glance: Name: From the Swedish tung sten, meaning heavy stone. The symbol is from mineral wolframite, from which the element was originally isolated. Atomic mass: 183.84. History: Isolated in 1783 by Spanish chemists Juan Jose and Fausto Elhuyar. Occurrence: China has 75% of the world’s tungsten ores. Appearance: Silvery white metal. Behavior: Tungsten has the highest melting point and highest boiling point of all metals. Uses: Tungsten is used in high-temperature applications such as heating.

-Rick Lowden  

It’s Elemental: Tungsten  

Chemical & Engineering News, September 8, 2003

Tungsten has a melting point of 3422°C which is extremely hot! Carbon has a higher melting point, see this periodic table of melting points, but at atmospheric pressure liquid carbon can’t exist, instead it just sublimates from solid to gas. But liquid tungsten on the other hand can exist and lava is so cold compared to it, the lava would actually freeze the tungsten.
Via xkcd: Extreme Boating


Tungsten provides the glow from conventional lightbulbs. An electric current passes through filaments, similar to the ones shown above, heating them. Any material could, in principle, be used, because the color and intensity of light emitted by a hot object is a function of temperature, not composition. But tungsten is extremely resistant to heat and won’t melt or deform, even when white-hot.

Credit: www.periodictable.ru

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Minimalist EDC Submitted By: Brian