Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

2013 Edition
| Editors: Robert H. Kretsinger, Vladimir N. Uversky, Eugene A. Permyakov

Cesium, Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Fathi Habashi
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_342

Cesium is a very soft, ductile, silvery white metal. It is the last member of the alkali metals (if Francium, the metal following it in the group, is ignored since it is radioactive with very short half-life). Since it has the largest atomic size of the group then the outermost electron will be far away from the nucleus and therefore easily lost because of the weak electrostatic force of attraction. Consequently, cesium is the most reactive, not only the alkali metals but also of all metals. It also has the lowest hardness among all metals. Applications of nonradioactive cesium include photoelectric cells, optical character recognition devices, photomultiplier tubes, video camera tubes, optical components of infrared spectrophotometers, catalysts for several organic reactions, crystals for scintillation counters, and in magnetohydrodynamic power generators.

Physical Properties



Atomic number


Atomic weight


Melting point, °C


Boiling point, °C


Atomic radius, nm

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mining, Metallurgical, and Materials EngineeringLaval UniversityQuebec CityCanada