Name Molybdenum
Symbol Mo
Atomic Number 42
Atomic Mass 95.94 atomic mass units
Number of Protons 42
Number of Neutrons 54
Number of Electrons 42
Melting Point 2617.0 C
Boiling Point 4612.0 C
Density 10.22 grams per cubic centimeter
Normal Phase Solid
Family Transition Metal
Period 5
Cost $30 per pound



Origin of Name From the Greek word molubnus, meaning lead
Date and Place of Discovery In 1778 in Uppsala, Sweden
Discovered by Carl Wilhelm Scheele
Common Compounds
Interesting facts
  • It is not found free in nature.
  • Before the 18th century its compounds were often confused with carbon or lead.
  • It wasn't used outside the laboratory until late in the 19th century when a French company (Schneider and Co.) began to use it as an alloying agent in steel armor plates.
Common Uses
  • Stainless steels
  • Water distribution systems
  • Food handling equipment
  • Chemical processing equipment
  • Automotive parts
  • Gas transmission pipes
  • Bearings
  • Dies
  • Cast irons
  • Furnace parts
  • Gas turbine parts
  • Catalysts
  • Paint pigments
  • Corrosion inhibitors
  • Smoke and flame retardants
  • Dry lubricants for space vehicles
  • Filament supports in light bulbs


Photo Courtesy of
Chemical Elements
Mineral Information Institute

Molybdenum Atomic Structure Elements by Name Elements by Number Home