General properties
Name, symbol, number Radium, Ra, 88
Element category alkaline earth metals
Group, period, block 2, 7, s
Standard atomic weight 226.0254
Electron configuration [Rn] 7s2
2, 8, 18, 32, 18, 8, 2
Discovery Pierre Curie and Marie Curie (1898)
First isolation Marie Curie (1902)
Physical properties
Phase soild
Density (near r.t. (0 °C, 101.325 kPa)

5.5 g/cm3

Melting point 973 K
Boiling point 2010 K
Heat of fusion 8.5 kJ·mol-1
Heat of vaporization 113 kJ·mol-1
Vapor pressure
P (Pa) 1 10 100 1 k 10 k 100 k
at T (K) 819 906 1037 1209 1446 1799
Atomic properties
Oxidation states 2
Electronegativity 0.9 (Pauling Scale)
Ionization energies 509.3 KJ/mol
Atomic radius 215 pm
Covalent radius 221±2 pm
Van der Waals radius 283 pm
Crystal structure Cubic body centered
Magnetic ordering Nonmagnetic
Electrical resistivity (20 °C) 1 µΩ·m
Thermal conductivity (300 K) 18.6 mW/(m/K)
CAS registry number 7440-14-4

Radium is a chemical element with symbol Ra and atomic number 88. Radium is an almost pure-white alkaline earth metal, but it readily oxidizes on exposure to air, becoming black in color. All isotopes of radium are highly radioactive, with the most stable isotope being radium-226, which has a half-life of 1601 years and decays into radon gas. Because of such instability, radium is luminescent, glowing a faint blue.

Radium, in the form of radium chloride, was discovered by Marie Curie and Pierre Curie in 1898. They extracted the radium compound from uraninite and published the discovery at the French Academy of Sciences five days later. Radium was isolated in its metallic state by Marie Curie and André-Louis Debierne through the electrolysis of radium chloride in 1910. Since its discovery, it has given names like radium A and radium C2 to several isotopes of other elements that are decay products of radium-226.

In nature, radium is found in uranium ores in trace amounts as small as a seventh of a gram per ton of uraninite. Radium is not necessary for living organisms, and adverse health effects are likely when it is incorporated into biochemical processes because of its radioactivity and chemical reactivity. Contents

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