What is rubidium

Rubidium is a chemical element with symbol Rb and atomic number 37. It is a soft, silvery-white and highly reactive metal in the alkali metal group of the periodic table. Rubidium is one of the most abundant alkali metals in the Earth's crust, although it is not as common as elements such as sodium or potassium.

What is rubidium

Here are some of the key characteristics and properties of rubidium:

  • Atomic Number and Symbol: Rubidium is represented by the chemical symbol Rb, and its atomic number is 37.

  • Physical Properties: Rubidium is a soft and malleable metal that can be easily cut with a knife. It is silvery-white in appearance and has a metallic luster.

  • Reactivity: Like other alkali metals, rubidium is highly reactive and reacts vigorously with water, producing hydrogen gas and forming rubidium hydroxide (RBOH).

  • Occurrence: Rubidium is relatively rare in the Earth's crust compared to elements like sodium and potassium. It is commonly found in small quantities in minerals such as lepidolite, pollusite and carnallite.

  • Applications: Rubidium has many specialized applications, including its use in atomic clocks, which are extremely accurate timekeeping devices used in navigation, telecommunications, and scientific research. Rubidium can also be used in the field of spectroscopy and as a catalyst in some chemical reactions.

  • Radioactive Isotopes: Rubidium-87, one of its isotopes, is radioactive and has been used in radiometric dating to determine the age of rocks and minerals.

  • Biological role: Rubidium has no biological role in living organisms, and is not considered an essential element for human health.

Overall, rubidium is a relatively rare and distinctive element that has important applications in timekeeping and scientific research, particularly in the study of nuclear and molecular physics.