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The symbol for the element tellurium.
The symbol for tellurium.
A metalloid element that occurs as either a brittle, shiny, silvery-white crystal or a gray or brown powder. Small amounts of tellurium are used to improve the alloys of various metals. Atomic number 52; atomic weight 127.60; melting point 449.5°C; boiling point 989.8°C; specific gravity 6.24; valence 2, 4, 6. See Periodic Table.
((Te), semimetallic chemical element in the oxygen family (Group VIa of the periodic table), closely allied with the element selenium in chemical and physical properties. It was discovered in 1782 by Franz Joseph Muller von Reichenstein, a mining inspector in Transylvania. Tellurium is not an abundant element, although it is widely distributed around the world. It is rarely found in the uncombined state and usually occurs as tellurides of copper, lead, silver, gold, iron, or bismuth. The chief sources from which the element is extracted are the slimes from copper and lead refineries in addition to flue dusts from the processing of telluride gold ores.