Nickel is a transition metal element from block d, the lightest in group 10.

The nickel atom has two electronic configurations, [Ar] 3d8 4s2 and [Ar] 3d9 4s1, which are very close in energy - the symbol [Ar] indicates the electrons of the heart which have the configuration of the argon atom . There is disagreement about the configuration to be considered to be of lower energy11. Chemistry textbooks indicate the electronic configuration of nickel as [Ar] 4s2 3d812, or equivalently as [Ar] 3d8 4s213,14. This choice is in accordance with Klechkowski's rule, which provides that the 4s underlay will be filled before 3d. It is also supported by the experimental fact that the lower energy state of the nickel atom is a level of the 3d8 4s2 configuration, namely the level 3d8 (3F) 4s2 3F, J = 415.

However, each of these two configurations corresponds to a set of quantum states of different energies15. The two sets of energies overlap, and the average energy of the states of the configuration [Ar] 3d9 4s1 is actually lower than the average energy of the states of the configuration [Ar] 3d8 4s2.

For this reason, research publications on calculations of atomic structure consider that the basic electronic configuration of nickel is [Ar] 3d9 4s111.

The nickel atom is paramagnetic.

Nickel is frequently associated with cobalt in mining deposits, it is particularly appreciated for the alloys it forms. Long confused with silver or copper, nickel is now used for making money and alloys in industry.

The simple body, dense silvery-white metal, harder and more tenacious than iron, was isolated in 1751 from nickel arsenides, generically known as Kupfernickel in German, kopparnickel in Swedish or "nickeline" in French, by the Swedish chemist, Baron Axel Frederik von Cronstedt. The operator, a former student of Georg Brandt, a master arsenide specialist and discoverer of the cobalt element, studies green tailings from a cobalt ore mine in Helsingland. Is it a last attempt at the outset to extract copper from this greenish ore, this "Kupfernickel" considered formerly as a kind of "devil's copper" since it has a greenish appearance and rejected by seasoned miners? they detected it before the oven stage? It first obtains by heating in the presence of sulfur and potassium carbonate nickel oxide before reducing the latter nickel protoxide in a crucible brazed with activated carbon to obtain a powder which once compacted and put in lamella gives a sample of shiny white metal which he trivially calls "nickel", to signify that in his opinion it was in no way copper or at least "false copper" 16. By observing the different chemistry of this simple body, he discovers that it is a chemical element.

Nickeline or nickel arsenide altered superficially to green and toxic nickel arsenates by air humidity
The German kupfernickel also refers to the supposed action of the dwarves, geniuses or evil gnomes of the mines, the "copper nickels", on the veins of copper or copper ores, as elsewhere on the other veins of minerals interesting, for example rich in precious metals. According to the authors, the dwarves or nickels hid, stole or made invisible the good material obviously sought, as they maliciously caused tremors, disturbing noises or resonances, perverse faults in which water infiltrated the galleries or were dropped from mephitic vapors. The name of the dwarfs comes from their patron or medieval intercessor Saint Nicolas or Sankt Nickelaas, in ecclesiastical Latin Sanctus Nicolaus17. In the twelfth century, this brave patron saint of navigators, guarantor of the balance and stability of the natural world and the equipment of human artifice, assured, by his devotion and the perpetuation under his aegis of the ancient ritualized practices of Saxon miners or Germanic, the tranquility and security of the mining environment, like the calm of sea or river flows.

These names come in part from the impossibility of extracting copper from what was believed at the time to be apparently copper ore; it was believed that the "copper ore" had suffered a curse from little demons. In fact, the rational error rests on the fact that naive scientists confused copper ores with nickel ores, a chemical element which was completely unknown, distinct from copper.

The term nickel is attested in French written around 176518. The adjective nickeliferous, already attested in 1818 but much more common in 1900, qualifies a material or a body containing nickel19. Nickel plating indicates before the middle of the 19th century the action of the verb nickeler, that is to say cover with a thin layer of nickel, as well as the metallic coating of protective nickel, that is to say nickeler verb in electroplating20. The adjective nickel-plated describes a metal or an alloy covered with a layer of nickel21. In 1857, nickelide designated a particular technique, to be specified, by which metals can be nickel-plated and, in general, the art of nickel plating and the work done by nickel-plating22. The chemist Adolphe Wurtz popularized in 1873 the adjective nickelic to qualify certain nickel compounds23. The NiCr or nickelchrome alloy is mentioned in the Grand Larousse encyclop¨¦dique in 1932.

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