Copper (Cu) – Periodic Table (Element Information & More)

Copper (Cu) element Periodic table

This is a SUPER easy guide on Copper element.

In fact, the table mentioned below is the perfect information box (Which gives you every single detail about the Copper element in Periodic table.)

So if you want to know anything about Copper element, then this guide is for you.

Let’s finish this very quickly.

Copper Element (Cu) Information

Appearance of Copper appearance of copper
Reddish orange metallic luster
State of Copper at STPSolid
Position of Copper in Periodic tableCopper in periodic table (Position)
Group: 11, Period: 4, Block: d
Category of Copper elementCopper element category
Transition metals
Atomic number of Copper, or 
Protons in Copper
29
Neutrons in Copper35
Electrons in Copper29
Symbol of CopperCu
Atomic mass of Copper Copper (Cu) atomic mass
63.546 u
Electrons arrangement in Copper

or 

Bohr model of Copper
Bohr model of copper (Electrons arrangement in copper, Cu)
2, 8, 18, 1
Electronic configuration of Copper[Ar] 3d10 4s1
Atomic radius of Coppercopper(Cu) atomic radius
140 picometers (van der Waals radius)
1st Ionization energy of Copper7.726 eV
Electronegativity of Copper Electronegativity of copper (Cu)
1.9 (Pauling scale)
Crystal structure of Coppercrystal structure of copper
FCC (Face centered cubic)
Melting point of Copper1357.7 K or 1084.6 °C or 1984.3 °F
Boiling point of Copper2835 K or 2562 °C or 4643 °F
Density of Copper8.96 g/cm3
Main isotope of Copper63Cu (69.1%) and 65Cu (30.8%)
Who discovered Copper and when?Carl Wilhelm Scheele in 1771
CAS number7440-50-8

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Copper in Periodic table

Copper element is in group 11 and period 4 of the Periodic table. Copper is the d-block element and it belongs to transition metals group.

H He
Li Be B C N O F Ne
Na Mg Al Si P S Cl Ar
K Ca Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn Ga Ge As Se Br Kr
Rb Sr Y Zr Nb Mo Tc Ru Rh Pd Ag Cd In Sn Sb Te I Xe
Cs Ba La* Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg Tl Pb Bi Po At Rn
Fr Ra Ac** Rf Db Sg Bh Hs Mt Ds Rg Cn Nh Fl Mc Lv Ts Og
*Ce Pr Nd Pm Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb Lu
**Th Pa U Np Pu Am Cm Bk Cf Es Fm Md No Lr

Why is Copper in Period 4?

Why is Copper in Period 4

Let me ask you a question.

How many shells does copper atom have?

It’s 4. Right? 

You have already seen the bohr model of copper atom in the above table.

From the Bohr model, it can be found that the number of orbits or shells in copper is 4. Hence, as copper has 4 orbits, it lies in period 4 of the Periodic table.

Is Copper a Transition Metal? Why?

Is Copper a Transition Metal

Yes, Copper is a transition metal because it has incompletely filled d-orbital in its most common oxidation state (Cu2+).

Let me explain the exact meaning of this.

According to the definition of transition metals;
The element should compulsorily have incomplete d-orbitals, either in their ground state (M) or most common oxidation states (M1+, M2+, etc) then only they are called transition metals.

Now, the ground state of copper means its normal state in which it has neither gained nor lost any electron/s (i.e Cu).

And the most common oxidation state of copper is Cu2+, because most commonly copper loses 2 electrons during a chemical reaction.

Now,
The electron configuration of Cu is: [Ar] 3d10 4s1 and
The electron configuration of Cu2+ is: [Ar] 3d9

So, in this most common oxidation state of copper (Cu2+), if we see the electron configuration, then it possesses incomplete d-orbitals.

electron configuration of copper

You can see that all the d-orbitals are completely filled (all the 10 electrons are present) in the elemental state (Cu) but they are incomplete (only 9 electrons are present) in their oxidation state (Cu2+).

In short, copper element have incomplete d-orbitals in its oxidation state (Cu2+).

Hence, according to the definition mentioned above, copper is a transition metal.

8 Interesting facts about Copper

Interesting facts about copper element are mentioned below.

  1. The word copper was derived from the latin word “cuprum”.
  2. Approximately 2/3rd of the Copper is found mostly from the igneous rocks on the earth.
  3. In the earth’s crust, copper is found in abundance (around 50 ppm).
  4. After iron and aluminum, copper is the 3rd most used metal in the industries.
  5. Most of the copper produced nowadays is used in manufacturing electrical wires and other electrical transmissions.
  6. Most of the metals on the periodic table are silvery grey in color, but copper is the only metal in reddish orange color.
  7. Copper metal is the 2nd best thermal conductor as well as electrical conductor after silver.
  8. Around 80% of copper present today can be recycled and it can be used again and again.

Properties of Copper

The physical and chemical properties of copper element are mentioned below.

Physical properties of Copper

Physical properties of copper are mentioned below.

  • Copper is a transition metal that has a reddish orange metallic luster.
  • The atomic mass of copper is 63.546 u and its density is 8.96 g/cm3.
  • Copper is a ductile metal that can be drawn into thin wires.
  • The melting point of copper is 1084.6 °C and its boiling point is 2562 °C.
  • Copper has naturally occurring isotopes as well as it has synthetic isotopes too. Out of the naturally occurring isotopes, 63Cu is the most abundant (around 69%).
  • Copper is a very good conductor of heat and electricity.

Chemical properties of Copper

Chemical properties of copper are mentioned below.

  • Copper atom contain incomplete d-orbitals in its most common oxidation state (Cu2+), hence copper is classified as a transition metal on the periodic table.
  • Copper slowly reacts with water and air and it turns dull-greenish in color. This is because the oxidation reaction of copper takes place.
  • The copper element present in a sample gives a greenish color in a flame test.

Uses of Copper

Uses of copper are mentioned below.

  • Copper is also an essential element found in the human body for the formation of red blood cells.
  • Copper is also used as an alloying metal with other metals which gives different properties. Most common copper alloys are bronze and brass.
  • Copper metal is used in manufacturing plumbing pipes, coins as well as cookwares.
  • Copper is a natural antibacterial agent. Hence the brass (which is an alloy of copper) is used in door handles of public buildings, which prevents disease transmission.
  • Brass is also used in making ship hulls which prevents the growth of algae and other microorganisms.
  • As copper is an excellent conductor of electricity, it is also used in buildings as an earthing to protect against lightning.
  • Copper is present in most of the electrical devices including TV, radio, laptops, smart phones, etc.

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References:
Chemical data: Wikipedia, Chemspider
Copper element: Image by Jonathan Zander, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

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