Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A soft silvery-white metallic element of the alkali group that ignites spontaneously in air and reacts violently with water, used in photocells and in the manufacture of vacuum tubes. Atomic number 37; atomic weight 85.47; melting point 38.89°C; boiling point 688°C; specific gravity (solid) 1.532; valence 1, 2, 3, 4. See Table at element.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A metallic chemical element (symbol Rb) with an atomic number of 37.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A rare metallic element of the alkali metal series, atomic number 37. It occurs quite widely, but in small quantities, and always combined. It is isolated as a soft yellowish white metal, analogous to potassium in most of its properties. Symbol Rb. Atomic weight, 85.48.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Chemical symbol, Rb; atomic weight, 85.25. A metal belonging to the group of elements which includes lithium, sodium, potassium, and cæsium: so named from the reddish tint of its salts.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a soft silvery metallic element of the alkali metal group; burns in air and reacts violently in water; occurs in carnallite and lepidolite and pollucite

Etymologies

From Latin rūbidus, red; see reudh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
A New Latin word derived by German chemist R. W. Bunsen in 1861, from Latin rubidus ("red") because its spectrum has two red lines. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Following the very spectacular demonstrations of BEC in rubidium and sodium by the JILA and MIT groups, the field has developed explosively and over 20 groups are now conducting BEC experiments.

    The 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics - Information for the Public

  • This suggestion has been of great service in spectrum analysis, and as applied by Bunsen, Kirchoff, and others, has led to the discovery of several new elements, such as rubidium and thallium, as well as increasing our knowledge of the heavenly bodies.

    Heroes of the Telegraph

  • The scientific basis of this method is described in detail in Brent Dalrymple’s book The Age of the Earth, and depends upon the known and very long half-lives by which three radioactive chemical elements steadily decay and transform into different, stable elements: uranium slowly becomes lead, potassium slowly becomes argon, and the more exotic strontium becomes the rare element called rubidium.

    The Language of God

  • That's because the obsidian from each volcano has a unique chemical signature based on the amount of elements such as rubidium, zirconium and strontium in the glass.

    Spero News

  • (intercalated) with atoms of an alkali such as rubidium or potassium it became a superconductor with a Tc of 18 kelvin (-255 degrees Celsius) or below, which is a relatively high temperature for superconductors.

    PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

  • In a paper* to be published in Physical Review A, the JQI team identifies conditions under which a cloud of ultracold atoms of two species (such as rubidium and sodium, or two slightly different forms of rubidium) can spontaneously condense into a state in which there is crystalline structure in the relative positions of atoms, e.g. a chain in which the two different types of atoms alternate regularly, but in which the entire cloud exhibits the frictionless, superfluid properties of a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC).

    Nano Tech Wire

  • Per Wikipedia: Mercury is a heavy, silvery d-block metal [that] is one of six elements that are liquid at or near room temperature and pressure, the others being caesium, francium, gallium, bromine, and rubidium.

    Annotations for Trinity issue #51 | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment

  • Strontium is used to generate the active ingredient in CardioGen-82, rubidium.

    FDA Warns About Heart-Scan Drug

  • We have exact measurements of rare elements like rubidium, lanthanum and molybdenum and we can now prove that an obsidian artifact unearthed in California, for example, originally came from an obsidian mine in the Mexican state of Jalisco.

    Obsidian in Mexico: gift of the gods

  • In 1860 Robert Bunsen (1811 – 1899), along with Gustav Kirchhoff (1824 – 1887), discovered two alkali metals, cesium and rubidium, with the aid of the spectroscope they had invented the year before.

    Bunsen, Robert Wilhelm Eberhard

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