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A soft, yellow metallic element. Strontium occurs in nature as the minerals celestine (sulfate) and strontianite (carbonate). It was discovered in 1790 by Adair Crawford in Scotland and isolated by Davy in 1807. Strontium is primarily mined in England. Freshly cut strontium is silvery, but it quickly tarnishes to a yellow tone in air. Strontium is used in fireworks and railroad flares to produce a bright red color. Some of the radioactive isotopes of strontium are used medicinally and as an ingredients in luminous paint and atomic batteries. Strontium oxide is used in ceramic glazes as a nontoxic replacement for lead.

Synonyms and Related Terms



  • Powder is spontaneously flammable.
  • Explosion risk from hydrogen gas produced with water reactions.
  • Radioactive isotopes are highly toxic.
  • SigmaAldrich: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Soluble in ethanol and acids.
  • Decomposes in water evolving hydrogen gas.
  • Flame color is crimson.
Composition Sr (atomic no. 38)
CAS 7440-24-6
Melting Point 752-770 C
Density 2.54-2.60 g/ml
Molecular Weight atomic wt = 87.62
Boiling Point 1366-1390 C

Resources and Citations

  • Web Elements: Website - gives discovery by Adair Crawford in 1790 in Scotland
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 776
  • 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 8994; first prepared in 1807 by Davy
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • Chemical & Engineering News, American Chemical Society, Washington DC, 81 (36) , Sept. 8, 2003 Comment: Arjun Makhijani, p. 100: discovered by Irish scientist Adair Crawfordd in 1790

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