KENNETH EWARD / BIOGRAFX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KENNETH EWARD / BIOGRAFX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Computer graphic of an atom of Beryllium. The nucleus of Beryllium contains four protons (red) and five neutrons (blue, four seen here). An electron cloud surrounds the nucleus, which in Beryllium contains four electrons orbiting in two separate energy levels. The number of electrically positive protons balances the number of electric- ally negative electrons to make the atom neutral overall. Beryllium is a grey metallic element: an alkaline-earth metal, that is extracted from the mineral beryl (Beryllium aluminosilicate). It is used in a number of alloys in nuclear reactors as humans and can cause lung disease and dermatitis.
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