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by 21ccarter
Last updated 5 years ago

Chemical Elements

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HistoryRubidium was discovered by two german chemists Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchkoff in 1861. With the use of a spectroscope, they noticed that the sample of the mineral lepidolite contained bright red spectral lines in its emission spectrum. Later on they managed to separate samples of rubidium metal. They decided on naming the metal rubidium which originates from the Latin word rubidus, meaning "dark red". This was because of the bright red lines in the element.


Physical PropertiesBoiling Point: 688.0 °C - 961.15 °KMelting Point: 38.89 °C - 312.04 °KColour: silvery-white State of Matter : soft, solid alkali metal.Density: 1532 kg.m -3 Conductivity: rubidium is a good conductor of heat and electricity.Ductility and Malleability: Rubidium is ductile and malleable metal. Magnetism: lowChemical PropertiesCombustibility: Rubidium is combustible and has a yellowish-violet flame.- Rubidium reacts violently with water.-Rubium ignites immedietly when in contact with oxygen thus it is difficult to handle.-Reacts with ice even at -108°C, forming caustic rubidium hydroxide. - Combines vigorously with mercury into a rubidium amalgram.-Alloys with gold, notassium, cesium, and sodium.

Interesting Facts- Rubidium is the second most electropositive element after Lithium.- Rubidium is considered to be the 16th most abundant element in the earth's crust.- Rubidium can be easily absorbed by both plants and animals but does not serve a vital purpose. - An average adult has about .36 g of rubidium in his body.

How Rubidium is MinedRubidium does not occur freely in nature due to its chemical reactivity. Most rubidium is obtained as a byproduct of refined lithium. Rubidium can naturally occur in brines, sea water, spring water and it can also be found in biological products such as tea or coffee.

Societal Applications- Rubidium does not have many commercial uses because of the limited supply and high price of US $20,000/kg. Howver it has a few uses such as the manufacturing of photocells. Rubidium is also used to remove residual gases from vacuum tubes. Rubidium salts are sometimes used in ceramics, glasses and fireworks to give them a purple color.


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