Radium

Symbol:    Ra
Group #:   2
Group Name:  Alkaline Earth Metals
Atomic #:  88
Mass #:   226
Atomic Mass:  226.0254

Electron Configuration: 7s2

 
Physical Properties:
                Bpt:  1737 oC
                Mpt: 700oC
                Density: 5g/ml
                Radioactivity:  High
                Color: Metallic
                Odor:  Not available
                Hardness:  Solid
                Brittle:  Low
                Malleability:  Low
 
Chemical Properties: (Click here for Demonstration )
Radium is one of the most significant discoveries made in the last years of the 19th  century.  It is four hundred times radioactive as Uranium. This element contains compunds of bismuth, indicating chemical similarity to Bismuth.  Radium is a white metallic element with a valence of +2. Pure Radium turns black in the air and decomposes in water.
 
History:
Madame Curie was finaical unstable. She had no money. Her family members help put her through college and through school to learn what she would dicover in the future.  In 1902 Madame Curie succeeded in isolating one tenth of a gram of radium chloride which was entirely free from Barium.  Pure Radium was not isolated until 1910 by Madame Curie and Andre-Louis Bebierne. Pierre Curie burned himself to study the reaction on his skin.
 
Women who worked in the factories which painted the radium on the dials would put the paint brushes in their mouths because the paint brushes would lose its shape.  So they would wet it with their spit in their mouths to reshape it.  No one knew it was harmful expect the people of the US Radium Corporation. After a period of time the women   theet started to fall out.  X-rays showed that there was bone decay.  Doctors suggested that this problem was a cause of where she use to work.
 
Uses:   Radium is not man made. It is naturally from the earths crust.  The uses  for radium can be used for medical purposes.  It helps cure cancer (radation). Also antique glow in the dark paint. There are many more uses  for Radium.
 
References:
Periodic Table 1 (3pp).(1999). Retrieved from the World Wide Web October 11,1999
 http://www.webelements.com/webelements/elements/text/key/Ra.html
 
Mass Media 2(13pp).(1999). Retrieved from the World Wide Web: http://www.runet.edu/~wkovaril/hist/radium.html
Tricia F.

November 1999