Element Factfile: Rubidium

Today's element


itch-packshotSimon Mayo’s new book Itch is out now – an exciting story that Alex Rider fans will definitely want to try!

Out now, the book follows Itchingham Lofte – known as Itch- who is an element-hunter! He’s decided to collect all the elements in the periodic table, which has some rather destructive results in his bedroom!

However, when he discovers a brand new element, never seen before, he ends up with unwanted attention and a lot of danger.

Itch is written by Simon Mayo and published by Random House – out now.

So you can become an element hunter too, we’ve put together fact files on some key elements you’ll want to catch!

Today’s is… Rubidium

Here’s what Itch has got to say:

[audio:http://funkidslive.com/podcasts/33/audio/podcast-2012-03-09-59034.mp3|artists=Rubidium|titles=Element Fact Files with Fun Kids]

rubidiumThis one’s a bit mysterious – rubidium. Discovered in 1861, scientists are still unlocking its secrets to see what it could be used for.

It was found by German chemists Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchoff when using a spectroscope and noticing a set of deep red spectral lines they had never seen before. Eventually they were able to isolate these samples to discover rubidium metal.

One thing we know – it’s pretty explosive! However, if we can harness its properties, it could be used in everything from batteries to spaceships.

Recently we’ve found large deposits of rubidium so the chances are that its usefulness will increase as it becomes better understood.

Check out all the elements: