Rubidium is a chemical element with symbol Rb and atomic number 37.
Rubidium has also been reported to ignite spontaneously in air.
Rubidium chloride (Rb Cl) is probably the most used rubidium compound: among several other chlorides, it is used to induce living cells to take up DNA; it is also used as a biomarker, because in nature, it is found only in small quantities in living organisms and when present, replaces potassium.
Other common rubidium compounds are the corrosive rubidium hydroxide (Rb OH), the starting material for most rubidium-based chemical processes; rubidium carbonate (Rb Sr.
However, rubidium ions have the same charge as potassium ions, and are actively taken up and treated by animal cells in similar ways.
It is the second most electropositive of the non-radioactive alkali metals and melts at a temperature of 39.3 °C (102.7 °F).
Similar to other alkali metals, rubidium metal reacts violently with water.As with potassium (which is slightly less reactive) and caesium (which is slightly more reactive), this reaction is usually vigorous enough to ignite the hydrogen gas it produces.German chemists Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff discovered rubidium in 1861 by the newly developed technique, flame spectroscopy.Rubidium's compounds have various chemical and electronic applications.Rubidium metal is easily vaporized and has a convenient spectral absorption range, making it a frequent target for laser manipulation of atoms.Rubidium is not a known nutrient for any living organisms.