|Heidelberg—Robert Bunsen, Gustav Kirchhoff elements|
- Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff
- by flame emission spectroscopy
- of the mineral lepidolite
- discovered a second new element
- having bright deep red lines
- and named it after the Latin rubidus.
Atomic number 37
- Rubidium gives fireworks a purple color
- Vaporized rubidium-87 cools lasers.
- Rubidium-82 for positron emission tomography
- locates brain tumors.
- Rubidium occillators synchronize telecommunications.
- In air, pure rubidium splits water molecules
- and burns its hydrogen.
- A surprising number of materials
- combust spontaneously,
- including human beings, according
- to Charles Dickens,
- which makes one question whether
- our stability is really freakish.