Q:

What is the element used in light bulb filaments?

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Quick Answer

Tungsten is the element used in incandescent light bulb filaments, because it has a very high melting point. Tungsten is a metal with an atomic number of 74, and its atomic weight is 183.84 grams per mole. This metal has a melting point of 6192 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Full Answer

Tungsten name comes from the two Swedish words "tung" and "sten" that mean heavy stone. Two Spanish brothers by the last name of Elhuyar discovered tungsten in a sample of wolframite, in 1783. It is a soft metal that has a variety of uses besides its use in light bulbs. Some of these applications are for spacecraft parts and as an alloying agent. It can be alloyed with steel to produce items like rocket engine nozzles.

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