Rubidium is a chemical element with symbol Rb and atomic number 37.
- According to the Jefferson Lab, rubidium is used as a “getter” in vacuum tubes. Due to rubidium’s readiness to bond with several gases, it is used to remove any trace gases after the vacuum tubes are manufactured.
- According to the New World Encyclopedia, rubidium doesn’t have many commercial uses but it is used in vapor turbines, in vacuum tubes, in photocells, in atomic clocks, in some types of glass, the production of superoxide by burning oxygen, and with potassium ions in several biological uses.
- Rubidium and strontium are used to radioactively date rocks, minerals, and meteorites according to Encyclopedia Britannica. Rubidium-87 is an unstable isotope that has a half-life of about 50 billion years and decays to strontium-87, a stable isotope of strontium. Radioactive dating is performed by observing the ratio of strontium-87 to stronium-86, according to Encyclopedia.
- According to Chemicool, rubidium is used in fireworks to give the explosions a purple-red color.
- Rubidium could replace potassium in the Na+K-ATPase (sodium-potassium pump) system.
- The antidepressant activity of rubidium chloride has risen new interest. Rubidium acts at the level of the central nervous system (CNS) by increasing synaptic neuro-transmitter levels. Rubidium chloride might have application in future psychochemical research and therapy of the affective disorders – particularly depressions – in an analogous way that lithium may be acting in mania.
- Alkali metals are named because they form special solutions called alkaline solutions when they are mixed with water. “Alkaline” means they have a pH greater than 7. Alkali metals include lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium and cesium.
- Rubidium reacts violently with water and can cause fires. To ensure safety and purity, this metal is usually kept under a dry mineral oil or sealed in glass ampoules in an inert atmosphere. Rubidium forms peroxides on exposure even to small amount of air diffused into the oil, and storage is subject to similar precautions as the storage of metallic potassium.Rubidium, like sodium and potassium, almost always has +1 oxidation state when dissolved in water, even in biological contexts.
- The human body tends to treat Rb+ ions as if they were potassium ions, and therefore concentrates rubidium in the body’s intracellular fluid (i.e., inside cells). The ions are not particularly toxic; a 70 kg person contains on average 0.36 g of rubidium, and an increase in this value by 50 to 100 times did not show negative effects in test persons. The biological half-life of rubidium in humans measures 31–46 days. Although a partial substitution of potassium by rubidium is possible, when more than 50% of the potassium in the muscle tissue of rats was replaced with rubidium, the rats died.
Unknown, please consult with your doctor.
Source: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubidium#Applications