Ever heard of an element, called Gallium? Well, let us introduce you. Gallium is a soft, silvery metal used primarily in electronic circuits, semiconductors and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). It is also useful in high-temperature thermometers, barometers, pharmaceuticals and nuclear medicine tests. What’s really interesting about it, is that Gallium is a post-transition metal. These are metallic elements located between the transition metals and the metalloids (non-metals) on the periodic table. Post-transition metals have some of the traits of the transition metals but tend to be softer and conduct more poorly.
And here it gets really fun. Gallium has some very unique qualities. For example, although it is a solid at room temperature (about 77 F/ 22 C), it is still so soft that you could cut it with a knife. In addition, it has a low melting point of 85.57 F (29.76 C) — less than 10 degrees above room temperature — so if you were to pick up a lump of gallium, it would literally melt from the warmth of your hand! Then if you set it back down, it would solidify again. So just imagine the range of fun! Some tips from us: when painted on glass, Gallium turns into a lustrous mirror!