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The Mineralogy of Radium

About Radium
Radium is a rare radioactive element found as a radioactive decay product in some uranium minerals, in amounts as small as 1/7 gram per ton of uraninite.

Although radium does not appear in the formula of any valid mineral species, the unapproved varietal name radiobarite describes a variety of barite with appreciable radium content. Radium is chemically very similar to barium so substitution is quite likely.

The substitution of radium for barium is also given as the explanation as to why brazil nuts are 1000 times more radioactive than other similar foods (40-260 Bq/kg) as the extensive root systems of the brazil nut tree help it absorb more barium (and along with it radium) than other similar plants.
General Properties
Symbol:Ra
Atomic Number:88
Standard atomic weight (Ar):[226]
Electron configuration:[Rn] 7s2
Photos
<
Radium on copper foil
>
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):0.9
Ionic Radius:148 pm (+2)
1st Ionization energy:509 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:2
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:973 K
Boiling Point:2010 K
Density:5 g/cm3
Metal/Non-Metal:alkaline earth metal
Main isotopes of Radium
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
223Ratrace11.43dα219Rn
224Ratrace3.6319dα220Rn
225Ratrace14.9dβ−225Ac
226Ratrace1600yα222Rn
228Ratrace5.75yβ−228Ac
Main ions of Radium
NameIonExample minerals
radiumRa2+
Other Information
Year Discovered:1898
Discovered By:
Pierre Curie
Marie Skłodowska Curie


Pierre Curie and Marie Curie
Year Isolated:1910
Isolated By:Marie Curie
Named For:Latin: radius -"ray"
CPK color coding:#007D00
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's PeriodicTable.com
Simple Compounds
Oxidesradium oxideRaO+2
Geochemistry of Radium
Goldschmidt classification:Lithophile
Elemental Abundance for Radium
Crust (CRC Handbook)9 x 10-13mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)8.9 x 10-17mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Periodic Table
1H 2He
3Li 4Be 5B 6C 7N 8O 9F 10Ne
11Na 12Mg 13Al 14Si 15P 16S 17Cl 18Ar
19K 20Ca 21Sc 22Ti 23V 24Cr 25Mn 26Fe 27Co 28Ni 29Cu 30Zn 31Ga 32Ge 33As 34Se 35Br 36Kr
37Rb 38Sr 39Y 40Zr 41Nb 42Mo 43Tc 44Ru 45Rh 46Pd 47Ag 48Cd 49In 50Sn 51Sb 52Te 53I 54Xe
55Cs 56Ba 57La 72Hf 73Ta 74W 75Re 76Os 77Ir 78Pt 79Au 80Hg 81Tl 82Pb 83Bi 84Po 85At 86Rn
87Fr 88Ra 89Ac 104Rd 105Db 106Sg 107Bh 108Hs 109Mt 110Ds 111Rg 112Cn 113Nh 114Fl 115Mc 116Lv 117Ts 118Og
 
58Ce 59Pr 60Nd 61Pm 62Sm 63Eu 64Gd 65Tb 66Dy 67Ho 68Er 69Tm 70Yb 71Lu
90Th 91Pa 92U 93Np 94Pu 95Am 96Cm 97Bk 98Cf 99Es 100Fm 101Md 102No 103Lr
Default Categories CPK Electronegativity Atomic Radius Lowest Oxidation Highest Oxidation Crustal Abundance Goldschmidt Mineral Species
Francium << Radium >> Actinium


Spotted a mistake/omission? - These pages are a work in progress, so please send all comments/corrections to jolyon@mindat.org. Thank you.

Constants and physical property data from:

David R. Lide (ed.), CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 85th Edition. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida (2005).
Kaye and Laby Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants (2005). Section 3.1.3, Abundances of the elements
A. Earnshaw, N. Greenwood, Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, (1997)
Thomas J. Ahrens (ed.), Global Earth Physics : A Handbook of Physical Constants, American Geophysical Union (1995)
L.B. Railsback, An Earth Scientist's Periodic Table of the Elements and Their Ions : Geology 31:9 p737-740 (2003)
Emsley, J. Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. New York: Oxford University Press (2001)
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