Gallium is a relatively soft metal which at temperatures of greater than 29 °c begins to melt. Gallium was one of the first elements predicted by Dimitri Mendeleev who hypothesised it would have properties similar to Aluminium so he called it eka-aluminium. It was discovered by the French chemistry Paul Lecoq de Boisbaudran who used spectroscopy to discover the unknown metal in 1875. It was extracted from Zinc ores that contained small amounts of Gallium he isolated through electrolysis. Gallium’s location next to the non metals in the periodic table means some of its standard metallic properties are not so metallic, it is a brittle metal and also a poor conductor of electricity. Gallium is used in thermometers and also the produce lasers and diodes. It is located in Group 13 and it has a melting point of 29°c and a boiling point of 2400°c being a solid metal at room temperature.
Paul Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran