A naturally occurring radioactive element. Radium occurs in uranium ores, such as pitchblende, at concentrations of approximately 10-7 ppm. Radium was discovered in 1898 by the Curies. It is a disintegration product of uranium. Radium is a bright white metal. It undergoes spontaneous disintegration to form radon gas and alpha rays. Radium was formerly used to make luminous paints used in clock dials, doorknobs, and other glow-in-the-dark items prior to the 1970s.
Synonyms and Related Terms
Soluble in water with the evolution of hydrogen. Radium salts burn with a carmine red flame color. Half life = 1622 years.
|Composition||Ra (atomic no. 88)|
|Molecular Weight||atomic wt = 226.026|
Hazards and Safety
Highly toxic radioactive element. Destroys living tissue.
Sources Checked for Data in Record
- G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 649
- Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
- Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
- Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
- The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 8277
- The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
- Edward Reich, Carlton J. Siegler, Consumer Goods: How to Know and Use Them, American Book Company, New York City, 1937