Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

2013 Edition
| Editors: Robert H. Kretsinger, Vladimir N. Uversky, Eugene A. Permyakov

Rubidium, Physical and Chemical Properties

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_341

Rubidium is a very reactive soft metal with a silvery luster and has the typical chemical properties of an alkali metal. It is more abundant in the Earth’s crust than lithium and cesium. Due to the similarity in their ionic radii, rubidium is always found in potash salt deposits, e.g., carnallite, sylvite, and langbeinite, which contain 10–300 g/t rubidium oxide. Rubidium is also widely distributed in very small concentrations in spring water, rivers, lakes, and seas. Its compounds are used in psychiatry and medicine, in magneto-optic modulators, solid-state lasers, phosphors (rubidium aluminate), Rb – C molecular sieves for hydrogen absorption, paper pigments, glass hardening by ion exchange, and components of electrolytes for fuel cells (Lenk and Prinz 1997).

Physical Properties

Atomic number


Atomic weight


Relative abundance in Earth’s crust, %

3.1 × 10−2

Density at 18°C, g/cm3


Density at m.p., g/cm3


Melting point, °C


Boiling point, °C



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  1. Lenk W, Prinz H (1997) Chapter 53. In: Habashi F (ed) Handbook of extractive metallurgy. Wiley, WeinheimGoogle Scholar
  2. Schreiter W (1961) Seltene metalle, vol 2. VEB Deutscher Velag fuer Grundstoffindustrie, Leipzig, pp 300–306Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mining, Metallurgical, and Materials EngineeringLaval UniversityQuebec CityCanada