Indium may be rare but it’s pretty useful for modern technology, image by Jurii for Wikimedia
Indium’s name, pronounced in-dee-uh-m, originates from the colour indigo which is in its atomic spectrum, and coincidentally this is the colour of the flames when it’s burnt. When it’s bent it emits a high-pitched noise.
Its main use is to form transparent electrodes in liquid crystal displays and touch screens – so it’s pretty important for smart phones and ipads!
Indium can ‘wet glass’ which just means that it can cling on to glass – not many metals can do this. And another interesting fact is the most common type (isotope) of indium is highly radioactive, so we can really only make use of the stable form.
Indium is pretty rare and was first discovered in Germany in 1863. China and Canada are currently the leading producers of it. Luckily it’s not thought to be toxic.