Element Rebus for Iron


Chem4Kids Scientist Guy with Spiked Hair There is a whole period of time named after this element (Iron Age). Humans have been working with iron for thousands of years. Iron is found all over the Earth and the Universe. You have iron in your computer, your desk, and even your body.

When purified, iron is a grayish, shiny metal. It oxidizes easily and the resulting compound is known as rust (iron oxide). Rust is a reddish-brown color. It's technically another transition element and another metal. While you may think of iron as a magnetic metal, not all forms of iron are magnetic.

Where can you find iron?

Iron core of the earth
Core of the Earth
We'll start big. The core of the Earth is believed to be made of molten iron. A huge ball in the center of our planet. Just outside of the core are other layers with molten iron and other elements. That core of iron creates the Earth's magnetic field.
Red Blood Cell
On the other end of the size chart is the compound hemoglobin that uses on atom of iron in each molecule. Hemoglobin is the compound found in your red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body.
Crust of Earth
Crust of the Earth
Even though the core is made of iron, there is still a large amount of iron in the crust of the Earth. It is the fourth most common element. All of the reddish rocks have trace amounts of iron.
Iron was used alone for many years. Historians call it the "Iron Age." Eventually metallurgists started to mix iron with other metals and developed many alloys. The most successful of these alloys has probably been steel which is used to make everything from paper clips to skyscrapers.
Iron is a very magnetic element. Large amounts can create the magnetic field of the Earth. Smaller amounts can be used to make magnets that you use every day. It might be the pointer on a compass or a horseshoe magnet used in science class.

► More about the orbitals and compounds of iron.
► Next element of the periodic table.

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Related Links
- Chem4Kids: Periodic Table
- Chem4Kids: Atoms
- Chem4Kids: Compounds
- Chem4Kids: Transition Metals
- Chem4Kids: Alloys
- Geography4Kids: Composition of Earth
- Geography4Kids: Iron Cycle
- Biology4Kids: Animal Systems

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