Gaseous chemical element; symbol F. It is the most reactive of all chemical elements. It is a yellowish, corrosive gas, which reacts with most organic and inorganic substances. → Atomic number 9; → atomic weight 18.9984; → melting point -219.62 °C; → boiling point -188.14 °C; → density 1.696 grams per liter at STP; → valence -1. Fluorine and its compounds are used in producing uranium (from the → hexafluoride) and more than 100 commercial fluorochemicals, including many high-temperature plastics.
From L. fluere "flow, → flux," since fluorspar (CaF2) was used as a flux in metallurgy because of its low melting point. It was discovered in hydrofluoric acid by the Swedish pharmacist and chemist Carl-Wilhelm Scheele in 1771 but it was not isolated until 1886 by the French pharmacist and chemist Ferdinand Moisson.