A rare metallic element of the platinum group, found native as an alloy in platinum ore, and in iridosmine. It is a hard, infusible, bluish or grayish white metal, and the heaviest substance known. Its tetroxide is used in histological experiments to stain tissues. Symbol Os. Atomic weight 191.1. Specific gravity 22.477.
- A bluish-white, hard metallic element, found in small amounts in osmiridium, nickel, and platinum ores. It is used as a platinum hardener and in making pen points, phonograph needles, and instrument pivots. Atomic number 76; atomic weight 190.2; melting point 3,000°C; boiling point 5,000°C; specific gravity 22.57; valence 2, 3, 4, 8. See Table at element.