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Rubidium Uses

Rubidium Uses
An alkaline earth metal by nature, rubidium is placed in the alkaline metal on the periodic table devoted to elements. The uses of rubidium, predominantly, are confined to laboratory research. It is basically used for the purpose of conducting experiments.
Azmin Taraporewala
In order to understand the uses of rubidium it is essential to systematically comprehend what is rubidium. This article is packed with rubidium facts as they are a prerequisite to systematically analyze the properties and essential uses of rubidium.
  • Robert Wilhelm Bunsen and Gustav Robert Kirchhoff invented rubidium in the year 1861 with the help of a spectroscope. It is available in the earth's crust and is considered the 16th most abundant metal in the earth's crust.
  • Rubidium is a shade of silver and white.
  • Rubidium derives its name from a Latin term 'rubius' which means deepest red. This is due to an inherent rubidium fact that when rubidium is burned, it evicts a reddish-brown flame.
  • Rubidium is used for industrial purposes, and it is also an essential component in the laboratory to conduct varied experiments.
  • The atomic number of the element is 37 and is abbreviated as Rb on the periodic table devoted to elements.
  • It alloys with gold, sodium, cesium, and potassium, and the flame, when ignites, is brownish-violet in color. This is the reason why it is used in manufacturing fireworks as it lends them a claret shade.
  • Rubidium is referred to as a reactive element. It is not a reliable element when exposed to an environment that has a valued content of oxygen prominence.
  • Rubidium is found in a compound form with minerals, such as lepidolite, pollucite, carnallite, leucite, and zinnwaldite. The rubidium content from these minerals must be extracted in order to make the element economically viable for the purpose of commercial setting.
  • Besides the element being an active reactant with abundant oxygen, it is also an aggressive element in the presence of water.
  • The element reacts when it comes in contact with air. Discoloration with regard to the metal getting oxidized takes place.
Chemical Properties Values
Atomic number 37
Atomic mass 85.4678 g.mol -1
Isotopes 11
Boiling point 696º C
Melting point 39º C
Density 1.53 at 20° C
Electronegativity according to Pauling 0.8
Vanderwaals radius 0.243 nm
Ionic radius 0.149 nm (+1)
Energy of first ionization 402.9 kJ.mol -1
Energy of second ionization 2633 kJ.mol -1
Energy of third ionization 3860 kJ.mol -1
Standard potential - 2.99 V
  • Rubidium uses could extend up to manufacturing photocells, atomic clocks and electronic tubes.
  • Rubidium salts are utilized in creating glass and ceramic wear.
  • The element is used in manufacturing special types of glass, in research and development of potassium ion channels as well as producing superoxide when it reacts with oxygen. The hyperfine elements of rubidium provide a resonating effect to atomic clocks.
  • Uses of rubidium metal diversifies as a component in lending a purple color to the fireworks.
  • Rubidium vapor is used in laser cooling.
  • Acting as working fluid in vapor turbines and a component in ion engines in space vehicles are the other important uses of rubidium.
  • As rubidium is an element in the earth's crust, it is a constituent of soil in which plants grow.
  • Rubidium is agile enough to seep into plants. This is how rubidium enters the food chain and becomes a constituent, with our daily intake of the component ranging from 1 to 5 mg.

There are no specific rubidium uses in everyday life. In the actual, only those who are trained to handle pure rubidium can deal with the chemical element. People should avoid ingesting the component; however, experts, too, must wear an eye gear and protect the face when working with rubidium. If any discrepancies occur, you must get in touch with a medical practitioner without much ado.