Graphite derives its name from the Greek word "graphein", to write. The material is generally greyish-black, opaque and has a lustrous black sheen. It is unique in that it has properties of both a metal and a non-metal. It is flexible but not elastic, has a high thermal and electrical conductivity, and is highly refractory and chemically inert. Graphite has a low adsorption of X-rays and neutrons making it a particularly useful material in nuclear applications.