Calcium (Ca)

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Calcium 20Ca40.078

Isolated in 1808 by Sir Humphry Davy at London, England.

[Latin, calx = lime]

French: calcium
German: Calzium
Italian: calcio
Spanish: calcio

Description: Calcium is a silvery-white, relatively soft metal that is obtained by heating calcium oxide (CaO) with aluminium metal in a vacuum. Although calcium metal is attacked by oxygen and water, the bulk metal is protected by an oxide-nitride film and can be worked as a metal. It is used in alloys and in the manufacture of zirconium, thorium, uranium and the rare earth metals. Calcium oxide (lime) is used in metallurgy, water treatment, chemicals industry, cement, etc.


Further Materials properties


Crystal structure: (cell dimensions/pm), space group, 
a-Ca f.c.c. (a=558.84), Fm3m
β-Ca b.c.c. (a=448.0), Im3m
γ-Ca h.c.p. (a=397, a=649), P62mmc [may contain H]
T(a -> β) = 573 K; T (β -> γ) = 723 K
X-ray diffractions mass absorption coefficients: CuKa 162 (µ/r) / cm2g-1
MoKa 18.3 (µ/r) / cm2g-1
Neutron scattering length: 0.476 b/10-12 cm
Thermal neutron capture cross-section: 0.43 sa / barns
Density: 1550.7 kg/m-3 [293 K]; 1365 [liquid at m.p.]
Melting point: 838,85°C / 1112 °K
Boiling point: 1483,85°C / 1757 °K (under pressure)
Molar volume: 25.86 cm3
Thermal conductivity: 200 [300 K] W m-1K-1
Coefficient of linear thermal expansion: 22 x 10-6 K-1
Electrical resistivity: 3.43 x 10-8 [293 K] Ωm
Mass magnetic susceptibility: +1.4 x 10-8(s) kg-1m3
Young's modulus: 19.6 GPa
Rigidity modulus: 7.9 GPa
Bulk modulus: 17.2GPa
Poisson's ratio: 0.31 GPa
Radi: Ca2+ 106; atomic 197 (a-form); covalent 174
Electronegativity: 1.00 (Pauling); 1.04 (Allred); 2.2 eV (absolute)
Effective nuclear charge: 2.85 (Slater); 4.40 (Clementi); 5.69 (Froese-Fischer)
Number of Isotopes (incl. nuclear isomers): 16
Isotope mass range: 36 -> 51



Biological data


Biological role: Essencial to all species
Toxicity Non-toxic. 
Toxic intake: n.a.
Lethal intake: LD50 (carbonate, oral, rat) = 6450 mg Kg-1
Hazards: Calcium compounds are only toxic via their other components
Level in humans  
Blood:  60.5 mg dm-3
Bone: 170 000 ppm
Liver: 100 - 360 ppm
Muscle: 140 - 700 ppm
Daily dietary intake: 600 - 1400 mg
Total mass of element in average
[70 kg] person:
1.00 kg


Geological data


Minerals:Calcium occurs in many minerals. Below some main minerals.
MineralFormulaDensityHardnessCrystal apperance
Anhydrate  CaSO4  2.98  3.5  orth., vit./ pearly col.
Aragonite  CaCO2  2.947  3.5 - 4  orth., vit. col.-white
Calcite  CaCO3  2.710  3  orth. vit. col. (gem. onyx)
Dolomite  CaMg(CO3)2  2.85  3.4 - 4  rhom., vit.col.

Chief ores: calcite, dolomite, gypsum (used in cement and plaster) anhydrite (used to make H2SO4)
World production: 2000 (calcium metal), 112 x 106 (lime, CaO) tonnes/year
Main mining areas: comon everywhere
Reserves: almost unlimited
Specimen: available as granules, pieces or turnings. Care!


Sun: 2.24 x 106 (relative to H = 1 x 1012)
Earth's crust: 41 000 ppm
Altantic surface: 390 ppm
Atlantic deep: 430 ppm
Pacific surface: 390 ppm
Pacific deep: 440 ppm
Residence time: 1 x 106 years
Classification: recycled
Oxidation state: II

  Source: Emsley, J. (1998) The Elements (3rd Edition)

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Overview of elements with access to our shop

1 18
2 13 14 15 16 17
Li Be B C
Na Mg 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Al Si P S
K Ca Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn Ga Ge As Se
Rb Sr Y Zr Nb Mo
Ru Rh Pd Ag Cd In Sn Sb Te I
Cs Ba La Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg Tl Pb Bi
Ce Pr Nd
Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb Lu

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