Wikijunior:The Elements/Barium

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Shows the position of barium on the periodic chart.
Barium's symbol on the Periodic Table

What does it look, feel, taste, or smell like?[edit]

Barium is a chemical element with symbol Ba and atomic number 56. It belongs to the alkaline earth group, which is a metallic element, soft and it looks silvery white when it's pure.

How was it discovered?[edit]

The shoemaker named Vincentius Casciorolus learned about the heavy, silvery-white mineral which was impure barium sulfate (BaS04). He noticed that barium after exposure to heat was in the form of unusual pebbles that glowed for years. He named these pebbles "Bologna stones", but they were later determined to be barium sulfate. Then, barium was first discovered in barite by German chemist Carl Scheele and English chemist William Withering in the late of 18th century.

Where did its name come from?[edit]

It came from the Greek word “barys", which means heavy.

Did You Know?

    • Hydrogen gas will be released when barium reacts exothermically with water
    • Barium is only made of 0.0425% of Earth’s crust. Barium doesn't build up in the body and it doesn't cause cancer but the lungs can be damaged by breathing its dust
    • Barium creates a dark gray coating when it oxidizes in air. It’s commonly alloyed with some metals such as aluminum, tin, lead, and nickel. 

Where is it found?[edit]

Barium has the high chemical reactivity, it's never found in nature as a free element

What are its uses?[edit]

We usually see some green fireworks and barium makes up that color. It also helps to remove the last traces of gases in vacuum tubes as getter in electronics industry.

Is it dangerous?[edit]

Barium can't dissolve in water but it can dissolve in our stomach. Barium can give a harmful effect to our stomach if a large amount of barium has dissolved in your stomach, the heart rhythms in your body may change.

References[edit]