History of Rubidium Rubidium was discovered by the German chemists Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchoff in 1861 while analyzing samples of the mineral lepidolite. Most rubidium is discovered when refining lithium. Rubidium forms a large number of compounds, although none of them has any significant use. Some of the common rubidium compounds are rubidium chloride, rubidium monoxide and rubidium copper sulfate. A compound of rubidium, silver and iodine, has interesting electrical characteristics and might be useful in thin film batteries.
It is currently being used in Vacuum tubes as a getter for gases, in making special glass and currently in study for ion engines, It is also proposed for use as a working fluid for vapor turbines and for use in a thermoelectric generator. These conduct electricity and act like an amateur of a generator thereby generating an electric current.
It’s a soft, silvery-white metallic elements that ignites spontaneously in air and reacts violently with water. A rare metallic element. It occurs quite widely, but in small. quantities, and always combined. It is now considered to be the 16th most abundant element in the earth's crust. Rubidium is present in the earth's crust, in seawater, and in the human body. Our body contains about 350 mg. It must be kept under a dry mineral oil or in a vacuum or inert atmosphere.
As with other alkali metals, it forms amalgams with mercury and it alloys with gold, cesium, sodium, and potassium.
It must be kept under a dry mineral oil or in a vacuum or inert atmosphere.
Twenty four isotopes of rubidium are known.
Naturally occurring rubidium is made of two isotopes
Ordinary rubidium is sufficiently radioactive to expose a photographic film in about 30 to 60 days.
The United States relies on 100% imports for this mineral the price for 100g of rubidium will cost you about $620.00.
Chemically rubidium is like potassium and has even been know to take the place of potassium in an animal’s body but is not yet known to be the same in a human beings body. Rubidium is absorbed easily from the gut, about 90 percent. It is found generally throughout the body, with the least in the bones and teeth; it is not known to concentrate in any particular tissue. Excess rubidium is eliminated mainly in the urine.
Sources: Food sources of rubidium have not been researched very well as yet. Some fruits and vegetables have been found to contain about 35 ppm. Rubidium may also be found in some water sources.
Functions: There are currently no known essential functions of rubidium. In studies with mice, rubidium has helped decrease tumor growth, possibly by replacing potassium in cell transport mechanisms or by rubidium ions attaching to the cancer cell membranes. Rubidium may have a tranquilizing or hypnotic effect in some animals, possibly including humans.
There are no clear uses for rubidium as yet. Because of its possible tranquilizing effect, it could help in the treatment of nervous disorders or epilepsy. There is no known deficiency or toxicity for rubidium.