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     38    

38 Sr Strontium

Alkaline earth metal, mass: 87.62 u, 4 stable isotopes (84, 86, 87, 88), abundance rank (earth/space): 23/35

Click image to magnify. 0.4 grams strontium with a dark layer of strontium nitride (Sr3N2), stored under paraffin oil. Original size of the largest piece in cm: 0.5
Strontium Strontium pieces
Strontium is very similar to calcium, but it is more heavy and reactive. For this metal and its compounds, only very few and special applications exist. Strontium salts are used to make red fireworks. Strontium is notorious for the radioactive 90Sr, which is produced in nuclear power plants as well as in atomic explosions like that in Chernobyl and from atomic bombs. This has a half-life of 29 years. It is build into bones like calcium and there causes cancer.

Celestine Red fireworks
Left: Natural celestine, SrSO4. 19 grams, original size in cm: 3 x 4
Right: New Year's Eve fireworks. Strontium has a red flame color, especially strontium nitrate, Sr(NO3)2, is used in fireworks. See also
barium.


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