Calcium is a very important element to the body functions of nearly any animal. It is an element that has an atomic number of 20, meaning that it has 20 protons in its nucleus. Its chemical symbol is Ca. Its atomic mass, in atomic mass units, or amus, is 40.078, meaning that the average Calcium isotope has 20 neutrons in its nucleus. It is in the 4th period, or row, of the Periodic Table, and it is in the second column, or family (or group) of the table. Calcium has a variety of different properties due to its place on the periodic table.
For a metal, it is relatively soft, as it can be cut with a knife if enough force is applied. Once it is exposed to air, it turns to a grey-white color. It is not as easy to light on fire as other metals in the same general place on the periodic table are. It has 20 electrons to go with its 20 protons and 20 neutrons. The electrons are arranged in their shells as follows: the first shell has 2, the second has 8, the third has 8, and the fourth has 2. This makes it reactive, but not as reactive as elements that have 1 electron or 7 electrons in the outer shell. At room temperature, calcium is a solid, just like the majority of the other metals on the periodic table. Calcium is an important mineral that is needed for adequate nutrition in humans. It is linked to overall bone health, and deficiencies can lead to a disease called osteoporosis, which is a weakened skeletal system.
Calcium has a very high melting point, which is set at 1115 Kelvins. Its boiling point is set a little bit of higher on the Kelvin scale, at 1757 Kelvins. In nature, Calcium is not naturally found alone, but it is found in sedimentary rocks, like in the minerals calcite, gypsum, and dolomite. It is found in a variety of compounds.
Calcium has 4 stable isotopes. They include Calcium 40, Calcium 42, Calcium 43, and Calcium 44. These numbers mean that the first isotope have 20 neutrons, the second has 22, the third has 23, and the fourth has 24 neutrons. There are also two more isotopes of Calcium that have 26 and 28 neutrons, but even though they decay radioactively, their half-lives are so long that they can be considered stable.
The element calcium is a very important element with a unique set of properties. It is important in the body, and it is an important element in nature. It is actually the fifth most common element in the Earth's crust by mass, and it helps many things, and without it, the world would not be the same.