The element gallium belongs to the Boron family (group 13) on the periodic table. Gallium is a solid post-transition metal element. Its symbol is Ga, and its atomic number is 31.
Gallium was discovered by Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran in 1875. The name gallium comes from the Latin word Gallia, which means Gaul. As an element, gallium does not exist in nature. Rather, it is extracted as gallium (III) salt from ores of zinc and bauxite.
Gallium is a blue-gray solid that can melt at temperatures above room temperature. Trace amounts can be found in the human body; however, exposure to large amounts can cause chest pains and other irritations. Gallium (III) salt has been used as a treatment for hypercalcemia.