Q:

What are the properties of silver?

A:

Quick Answer

Silver's properties include that its thermal and electrical conductivity are higher than any other metal. The only reason it isn't more widespread in electrical systems is that it is too expensive compared to copper and tarnishes more quickly than gold. However, it is used in high frequency radio engineering, and some stereo-system owners believe silver wire produces better sound quality.

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Silver is also quite malleable and ductile. Malleable means that it can be beaten into sheets without tearing and ductile means it can be pulled into wire without snapping. Silver's contact resistance is also lower than any other metal.

Silver is also the most reflective of metals. The metal is used in solar power reflectors and in water purification systems. The presence of silver discourages the build up of pathogens and reduces the need for somewhat toxic chemicals like chlorine.

Silver, in the form of silver salts and silver nitrate, is used in photography. Its usage has declined as digital photography has become more and more popular. However, silver is used in infrared telescopes because of its reflectivity. Very thin coats of silver are also applied to window glass for insulation.

The melting point of silver is 1,763.2 degrees Fahrenheit, while its boiling point is 3,924 degrees F.

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