About Copper

Copper (IPA: /ˈkɒpə/, /ˈkɑpəɹ/) is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Cu (Latin: cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with excellent electrical conductivity, and finds extensive use as an electrical conductor, heat conductor, as a building material, and as a component of various alloys.

Copper is 100% recyclable without any loss of quality whether in a raw state or contained in a manufactured product. Copper is the third most recycled metal after iron and aluminum.

There are many applications use for Copper such as Piping, refrigeration and air conditioning equipment to electrical uses, such as copper wire, integrated circuits, printed circuit boards, electromagnets, vacuum tubes and more. Copper in household products are also common for plumbing fittings, cookware, sinks, range hoods, knobs. Copper is also used in Musical instruments and jewelry.

Bacteria will not grow on copper so the biomedical industry uses copper for its biostatic surfaces.

Copper has a reddish, orangish, or brownish color because a thin layer of tarnish (including oxides) gradually forms on its surface when gases (especially oxygen) in the air react with it. But pure copper, when fresh, is actually a pinkish or peachy metal. Copper, caesium and gold are the only three elemental metals with a natural color other than gray or silver. The usual gray color of metals depends on their "electron sea" that is capable of absorbing and re-emitting photons over a wide range of frequencies. Copper has its characteristic color because of its unique band structure. By Madelung's rule the 4s subshell should be filled before electrons are placed in the 3d subshell but copper is an exception to the rule with only one electron in the 4s subshell instead of two. The energy of a photon of blue or violet light is sufficient for a d band electron to absorb it and transition to the half-full s band. Thus the light reflected by copper is missing some blue/violet components and appears red. This phenomenon is shared with gold which has a corresponding 5s/4d structure. In its liquefied state, a pure copper surface without ambient light appears somewhat greenish, a characteristic shared with gold. When liquid copper is in bright ambient light, it retains some of its pinkish luster. When copper is burnt in oxygen it gives off a black oxide.

Copper has been in use at least 10,000 years, but more than 95% of all copper ever mined and smelted has been extracted since 1900. As with many natural resources, total amount of copper on Earth is vast (around 1014 tons just in the top kilometer of Earth's crust, or about 5 million years worth at the current rate of extraction). However, only a tiny fraction of these reserves is economically viable, given present-day prices and technologies. Various estimates of existing copper reserves available for mining vary from 25 years to 60 years, depending on core assumptions such as the growth rate.