Vanadium is very hard, strong, and is easy to shape without breaking. This metal was first purified in 1869 by chemist Henry Roscoe. Today, it is commonly mined from its ore vanadinite. Ancient metalworkers used small amounts of vanadium compounds to make a very strong substance called Damascus steel. This is named after the capital of Syria, where smiths made the sharpest swords in the world. Vanadium is still used to harden tools.

Summary of properties (V)

Atomic weight50.9415(1)
Discoverer (year)Del Rio, Andrés Manuel & Sefström, Nils Gabriel (1830)
Natural formmetallic solid (body centered cubic)
Electron configuration[Ar] 3d3 4s2
Melting point (ºC)1890
Boiling point (ºC)3380
Abundance in earth's crust (ppm)120
Isotope (abundance)50V (0.250), 51V (99.750)
Density g/cm36.11
Van der Waals radius (pm)207
Covalent radius (pm)144
Electronegativity (Pauling)1.66
Vaporization enthalpy (kJ/mol)458.60
Enthalpy of fusion (kJ/mol)21.50
Specific heat capacity (J/g·K) at 25ºC and 1 atm0.49
Thermal conductivity (W/cm·K) at 25ºC and 1 atm0.310
Oxidation state+5, +4, +3, +2
Electron affinity (eV)0.53
1st Ionization potential (eV)6.7462

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