Silver was probably the third metal to be discovered, after gold and copper. It is the most reactive of the noble metals. Silver is widely distributed in nature in the native form, as an alloy with other metals and being part of minerals such as argentite. Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, silver has been used in medicine as bactericidal agent. The sensitivity to light of silver halides is the origin of photography since the exposure of photographic film containing silver bromide to light produces the reduction of this compound to metallic silver in such a way that the most strongly illuminated parts of the film become the darkest.
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