Key information
Atomic number: 
49
Atomic weight: 
114.82
Density: 
7310 kg/m³
Boiling point: 
2273.16° K
Melting point: 
429.36° K
Heat vapour: 
224.87 kJ/mol
Heat fusion: 
3.27 kJ/mol
Thermal conductivity: 
11.1 W/m/K
Specific heat capacity: 
23.87 J/kg/K

The metal contains an indigo blue line in its spark spectrum. It was discovered by Ferdinand Reich and Hieronymous Theodor Richter in 1863 while they were carrying out tests with a spectrograph. The name "indium" is derived from indigo.

Indium is produced mainly from the residues when processing zinc and other metal ores. Resources are scare, a fact reflected in the world price. In January 2003 the metal sold for around $60 per kilogram; by August 2006 the price had shot up to over $1000 per kilogram.

Indium is used to make LCDs for flat-screen tvs. It is also used as a semiconducting material in the latest solar cell technology, one that promises to be twice as efficient as conventional designs.

Electron Shell: 
Amazon Books
Image of The Last Sorcerers: The Path from Alchemy to the Periodic Table
Author: National Academy of Sciences, Richard Morris
Publisher: Henry (Joseph) Press (2003)
Binding: Hardcover, 294 pages