Rubidium Facts

Rubidium Facts
Rubidium (Rb) has an atomic number of thirty-seven. This soft, silvery-white member of the alkalai metals group has thirty-seven protons in the nucleus of one atom.
Interesting Rubidium Facts:
Rubidium was discovered by Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff in 1861.
The pair discovered rubidium spectroscopically, and named it for the red colored spectroscopic lines.
At the time, flame spectroscopy was a very new technology.
Rubidium is one of the most alkaline elements.
It spontaneously ignites in air.
Rubidium has a very violent reaction with water when it ignites the hydrogen that is freed during the reaction.
It oxidizes very quickly in air.
Rubidium is commonly used to alloy with gold, sodium, potassium, and caesium.
Rubidium has a comparatively low melting point, at just 39.3 degrees Celsius or 102.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rubidium is one of only twenty-six elements that only have one stable isotope, making is monoisotopic.
However, there are two isotopes, one stable and one radioactive.
The radioisotope has a half-life of 48,800,000,000 years, more than three times the estimated age of the entire universe.
When Rb-85 decays, it forms the stable isotope of strontium, Sr-87.
An additional twenty-four synthetic unstable isotopes of rubidium are known.
Rubidium is the twenty-third most common element in the Earth's crust.
There are several minerals which contain up to 1% of the oxide of rubidium.
Rubidium does not have a lot of industrial or commercial uses, so its mining is fairly limited.
Rubidium is most often produced as a byproduct of potassium or caesium production.
An average sized adult contains about .36 grams of rubidium in his body.
The human body treats rubidium as though it was potassium, so it is most often found within the cellular fluid.
Rubidium is actively absorbed by both plants and animals but does not seem to serve a vital purpose.

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