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Beryllium, despite its relatively simple atomic structure, possesses a wide range of useful engineering properties. It has the highest strength-to-weight ratio and modulus of elasticity among structural metals and is an important alloy addition in copper, nickel, and aluminum alloys. It also has excellent thermal properties, low atomic mass, a small x-ray absorption cross section, and a large neutron scattering cross section. This brief introductory chapter provides an overview of the unique qualities of beryllium along with typical applications and uses.

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Kenneth A. Walsh, Introduction, Beryllium Chemistry and Processing, By Kenneth A. Walsh;Edited By Edgar E. Vidal, Alfred Goldberg, Edward N.C. Dalder, David L. Olson, Brajendra Mishra, ASM International, 2009, p 1–5,

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