Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Noble Elements
Name: Snezana
Status: student
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000

The noble metals are Cu, Ag, Au, Pt, Pd, sometimes Ir. What about Ru and Ti? Aren't they noble metals as well?

Historically, the noble metals I suppose were "noble" because you had to be a rich noble to afford to own any. It then took on the connotation of non-reactive because Cu, Ag, Au, Pt, and Pd are frequently found as metallic ores, rather than as oxides, sulfides or other compounds.

This whole concept has lost its meaning of "non-reactive" as modern chemistry and metallurgy have discovered other elements such as Ru, Ti, Ta, and others that are quite resistant to heat and chemical attack.

Vince Calder

Click here to return to the Chemistry Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory