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Unlocking the Mysteries of Rubidium: Properties Uses and Cost

Rubidium: Characteristics and Properties of the Alkali Metal

Have you ever heard of rubidium? Its a rare, silvery-white metal that belongs to the alkali metal group.

In this article, well provide an informative overview of rubidium including its properties, characteristics, identification, history, and where it can be found.Rubidium was discovered in 1861 by Gustav Kirchhoff and Robert Bunsen. Its atomic number is 37, and it has an atomic mass of 85.47.

Rubidium is a highly reactive metal with a strong resemblance to other alkali metals, particularly potassium and lithium. The element is known for its distinctive flame color, which is reddish-violet due to the ionization of the rubidium atoms.


Rubidium is a chemical element with the symbol Rb and the atomic number 37. Its CAS number is 7440-17-7.

Rubidium is located in the first column of the periodic table, which groups alkali metals. It is positioned directly beneath potassium and above cesium.


The discovery of rubidium is credited to Kirchhoff and Bunsen, who used spectroscopy to identify its spectral lines from the mineral lepidolite. The name rubidium comes from the Latin word rubidius meaning deep red which reflects the elements emission color.

Where Is It Found? Rubidium is a rare element that can be found in minerals such as pollucite, leucite, and carnallite.

Its estimated that rubidium makes up 0.008% of the earths crust. It can also be produced through electrolysis and thermal reduction of a chloride.

Properties and Characteristics of Rubidium

General Properties

Rubidium has an atomic mass of 85.47 and belongs to the alkali metal group. It has an electronegativity of 0.82, just below hydrogen, and its ionization energy is 402 KJ/mol, lower than that of potassium but higher than cesium.

Physical Properties

Rubidium is a soft, ductile, and highly reactive metal that melts at 39.31 C (102.76F). Its boiling point is 688 C (1,270F).

Rubidium has a silvery appearance and quickly oxidizes to form a dull grey oxide layer on its surface when exposed to air.

Chemical Properties

Rubidium is highly reactive and readily oxidizes when exposed to air and moisture. It reacts intensely with water, producing rubidium hydroxide and hydrogen gas.

It also reacts with halogens, such as chlorine and fluorine, to form rubidium halides.

Rubidium Metal

The atomic structure of rubidium is highly complex, with a total of five energy levels. It has nine known isotopes, with the most stable being Rb-85 and Rb-87.

Rubidium has one valence electron in its outer energy level, meaning it can readily react with other elements.

Crystal structure

Rubidium has a face-centered cubic crystal structure with a coordination number of 12. The coordination number refers to the number of atoms surrounding an ion.

Quantum numbers

Rubidium has four quantum numbers, n, l, m, and s. The principal quantum number (n) determines the energy of an electron, the orbital quantum number (l) determines its shape, the magnetic quantum number (m) determines its orientation in space, and the spin quantum number (s) determines its direction of spin.

Energy levels

Rubidium has five energy levels or shells with corresponding electron configurations. The first energy level contains 2 electrons, the second level has 8, the third level has 18, the fourth contains 8, and the fifth level has only 1 electron.


In conclusion, rubidium is a rare, silvery-white alkali metal with unique properties and characteristics. It has multiple applications in various fields such as electronics, medicine, and nuclear physics.

Although the element is rare, its reactivity makes it highly versatile for use in scientific research and experimentation. This article has imparted valuable knowledge about rubidium, encompassing its history, identification, properties, and characteristics.

To know further about rubidium, it is recommended to consult scientific literature or an expert in the field. Uses of Rubidium: From Industrial Applications to

Health Benefits

Rubidium is a precious metal used in various industries, scientific research, and even health benefits.

In this article, well dive into the uses of rubidium and how it benefits different areas, including industrial uses, scientific applications, health benefits, interesting facts, and safety considerations.

Industrial Uses

Rubidium has multiple industrial uses, including:

Photocells – Rubidium is used in photocells because of its unique photoelectric properties. It can produce a charge when exposed to light, which makes it appropriate for this application.

Lasers – Rubidium vapor lasers can be used to produce light in the near-infrared range and have low heat dissipation. Special Glass – Rubidium is added to optical glass to reduce its refractive index.

This technique is used in producing special lenses and prisms. Getter – Rubidium is used in the process of removing impurities from vacuum tubes and cathode ray tubes.

Scientific Applications

Rubidium is frequently used in scientific research and applications, including:

Ion engines – Rubidium is used in ion engines to propel spacecraft. Its an essential element that helps to accelerate ions, which allows the engine to function more efficiently.

Atomic Clocks – Rubidium-based atomic clocks are used to measure time. These clocks are accurate to better than one second in six years and are used along with GPS systems.

Rubidium-strontium dating – This technique uses rubidium-87 to strontium-87 ratio to date rocks and minerals. The half-life of rubidium-87 is 47 billion years, making the rubidium-strontium technique useful for dating ancient rocks.

PET Scans – Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging is a vital medical diagnostic tool that requires radioactive isotopes. Rubidium-82 is used in PET scans as a radiotracer.

Health Benefits

Rubidium also offers some health benefits, including:

Dietary Supplement – Rubidium is a trace element naturally found in food. It can be used as part of a dietary supplement to promote cardiovascular wellness.

Cardiovascular wellness – Rubidium is said to help regulate blood pressure and heart rate. It helps stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which helps widen blood vessels and improve circulation.

Interesting Facts

Some interesting facts about rubidium include:

Ionization energy – Rubidium has a low ionization energy, which means it requires relatively little energy to remove an electron. It readily becomes a positively charged ion, so it readily reacts with other elements.

Flame test – Rubidium burns with a characteristic reddish-violet flame, which makes it easy to identify. This flame color is commonly used in flame tests to identify this element.

Magnetic monopole – In 1982, Frank Wilczek proposed the theoretical existence of magnetic monopoles, which are magnetic particles with only one magnetic pole. Although these monopoles haven’t been found yet, in 2006, scientists began working with a Bose-Einstein condensate of Rubidium-87 to create a synthetic monopole.

Safety Considerations

Rubidium is considered non-toxic and largely safe for human use. The general safety guidelines for handling rubidium include avoiding direct contact with the skin, wearing protective gloves, goggles, and clothing when working with rubidium and following the appropriate disposal procedures.

Interesting Facts

Rubidium is a trace element, but it’s essential to human health. It has been shown to be important for the uptake of iron in the body and for the proper functioning of the nervous system.

There is also evidence that a deficiency of rubidium can lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, and neurological symptoms.


Rubidium is a versatile and useful element with numerous applications in different industries, scientific research, and health benefits. This article has given insight into the various applications of rubidium, including its use in photocells, lasers, atomic clocks, PET scans, as well as its contribution to heart health.

We have also dived into some interesting facts about rubidium, including its magnetism and unique flame color. Its essential to handle rubidium safely and dispose of it appropriately to prevent any harm.

Rubidium (Rb Element) Cost: Factors Affecting the


Rubidium is a rare and soft metal belonging to the alkali metal group. Due to its limited supply and specialized applications, the cost of rubidium is higher than most elemental metals.

In this article, well dive into the different factors that affect the price of rubidium, including its supply and demand, production cost, and other economic factors.


The price of rubidium varies depending on various factors, such as supply and demand, production cost, the current market price, and the purity of the metal. The price of rubidium is typically quoted per gram or per ounce.

Supply and Demand

Rubidium is a rare metal that is not widely available, which makes its price higher than other metals such as copper or aluminum. The supply of rubidium is limited to only a few sources globally.

Pollucite, a rare mineral found in Canada, is the primary source of rubidium used for industrial purposes. Due to its limited supply, the demand and price for rubidium have been stable, and it’s not prone to fluctuations in pricing.

Production Cost

Rubidium is not easy to extract, purify, or produce as it requires specialized techniques to obtain and refine. The production of rubidium is not cost-effective, resulting in limited demand, and thus increasing the production cost for manufacturers.

The production cost increases due to expensive reagents required to extract the metal from other ores, such as pollucite. Current Market


The market price of rubidium fluctuates frequently, with slight shifts in supply and demand.

Currently, the price of rubidium hovers around $600 per 100-gram bottle, while the price per ounce is around $1000 in some areas.

Purity of the Metal

The purity of the metal also affects the cost. High purity rubidium is more expensive as it requires more extensive processing and refining, which increases the production cost.

Rubidium can be found in purities ranging from 99% to 99.9%, with the highest purity often being the most costly.

Economic Factors

The global economic factors can also impact the price of rubidium. The world economy, politics, trade, and other external factors such as tariffs or sanctions can cause fluctuations in the price of rubidium.

Political instability, natural disasters, and conflicts in areas where rubidium is extracted can also lead to an increase in price. Additionally, investments in new technologies or applications that require rubidium, such as spacecraft propulsion engines, can increase demand and prices.


Rubidium is a rare and expensive metal due to its limited sources, specialized processing, and refining techniques. Multiple factors affect the price of rubidium, including its supply and demand, production cost, purity, current market price, and economic factors.

As demand for rubidium continues to increase, so will the price. Rubidiums versatility and range of applications contribute to potential increase in its demand and price in the future.

Rubidium, a rare and expensive metal, is highly valued due to its limited supply and specialized applications. Factors such as supply and demand, production cost, market price, and metal purity influence the price of rubidium.

Its versatile applications and unique properties make it a sought-after element despite its high cost. Rubidium’s rarity and increasing demand highlight its importance in various industries and scientific research.

As the global market evolves, the price of rubidium may continue to fluctuate. Understanding the factors impacting rubidium’s cost is crucial for industries and consumers alike.


1. How is the price of rubidium determined?

The price of rubidium is influenced by factors such as supply and demand, production cost, market fluctuations, and the purity of the metal. 2.

Why is rubidium more expensive than other elemental metals? Rubidium’s higher price is due to its limited supply, specialized extraction and refining processes, and the rarity of sources such as the mineral pollucite.

3. Can the price of rubidium change over time?

Yes, the price of rubidium can fluctuate based on global economic factors, political instability, demand from various industries, and advancements in new technologies. 4.

What are the main factors affecting rubidium’s cost? The main factors that affect the cost of rubidium include its limited supply, production cost, market dynamics, metal purity, and global economic conditions.

5. Are there any future prospects for rubidium’s price?

Rubidium’s price may change in the future as new applications and technologies emerge, increasing demand and influencing market dynamics.

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