|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.