Strontium is the chemical element of atomic number 38. Its symbol is Sr. It belongs to the group of alkaline earth metals and is presented as a soft, silvery, white or slightly yellow metal. When exposed to air, form a layer of dark oxide. Strontium possesses physical and chemical properties similar to those of its two vertically adjacent to the periodic table, calcium and barium. It is naturally present mainly in celestite and stronzianite. While natural strontium is stable, the 90Sr isotope is radioactive with a 28-year-old, and is one of the most dangerous components of nuclear fallout, as it is absorbed by the body in a calcium-like way. On the other hand, natural stable strontium is not dangerous to health.
Both Strontium and Strontianites are named after Strontian, a village in Scotland, near which the mineral was discovered in 1790 by Adair Crawford and William Cruickshank. It was identified as a new element the following year thanks to the flame test. Strontium was isolated as a metal in 1808 by Humphry Davy, using the electrolysis process, then just discovered. In the nineteenth century, the most important application of strontium was sugar beet production. During the peak production of cathode tubes, about 75% of strontium consumption in the US was intended for the construction of the front glass. With the introduction of other types of monitors, strontium consumption decreased drastically.
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