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A steel-gray metal, tungsten is found in several ores, including wolframite and scheelite. It is remarkable for its robust physical properties, especially the fact that it has the highest melting point of all the non-alloyed metals and the second highest of all the elements after carbon.Tungsten is often brittle and hard to work in its raw state; however, if pure, it can be cut with a hacksaw.

The pure form is used mainly in electrical applications, but its many compounds and alloys are used in many applications, most notably in incandescent light bulb filaments, X-ray tubes (as both the filament and target), and superalloys. Tungsten is also the only metal from the third transition series that is known to occur in biomolecules, and is the heaviest element known to be used by living organisms.