Skip links

Copper (Cu): Fun Facts and Information About the Element

What is the symbol? Cu
What is the atomic number? 29
What is the atomic weight? 63.546
What is the melting point in Celsius? 1083
What is the boiling point in Celsius? 2567
What is the density (g/cm3)? 8.96
What year was it discovered? ancient
Who discovered the element? Known since ancient times
What group is the element in? 11
What is the electron configuration? [Ar] 3d10 4s1
What is the ionization energy? 7.7264
What element category is it in? Transition Elements

Where is Copper Found?

Copper occasionally occurs natively, and is found in many minerals such as cuprite, malachite, azurite, chalcopyrite, and bornite.

Large copper ore deposits are found in the U.S., Chile, Zambia, Zaire, Peru, and Canada. The most important copper ores are the sulfides, the oxides, and carbonates. From these, copper is obtained by smelting, leaching, and by electrolysis.

What is Copper Used For?

The electrical industry is one of the greatest users of copper. Iron’s alloys — brass and bronze — are very important: all American coins are copper alloys and gun metals also contain copper.

Copper has wide use as an agricultural poison and as an algaecide in water purification. Copper compounds, such as Fehling’s solution, are widely used in analytical chemistry tests for sugar.