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Barium ( Ba )

Material Information

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General Description:  

Discovered in 1808 by Sir Humphrey Davy in London, England.

Elemental barium does not occur naturally although it has an abundance within the earth's crust of 500 ppm. It is obtained by heating BaO with Al and, once refined, barium is a silvery white, soft metal which oxidises readily in air and water. Barium compounds, particularly BaSO4, are used for various applications, including the manufacture of paint, as an addition to heavy duty drilling oils and in radiology as "barium meal" where it is used to outline a patient's alimentary tract, the X-rays being stopped by the barium sulphate.

   

Atomic Properties

Atomic number 56
Atomic radius - Goldschmidt ( nm ) 0.224
Atomic weight ( amu ) 137.33
Crystal structure Body centred cubic
Electronic structure Xe 6s2
Ionisation potential No. eV
1 5.21
2 10.0
Natural isotope distribution Mass No. %
130 0.1
132 0.1
134 2.4
135 6.6
136 7.9
137 11.2
138 71.7
Photo-electric work function ( eV ) 2.5
Thermal neutron absorption cross-section ( Barns ) 1.2
Valences shown 2

Mechanical Properties

Material condition Polycrystalline
Bulk modulus ( GPa ) 9.7
Poisson's ratio 0.28
Tensile modulus ( GPa ) 12.8

Physical Properties

Boiling point ( C ) 1640
Density @20C ( g cm-3 ) 3.5
Melting point ( C ) 725

Thermal Properties

Coefficient of thermal expansion @0-100C ( x10-6 K-1 ) 18
Latent heat of evaporation ( J g-1 ) 1100
Latent heat of fusion ( J g-1 ) 55.8
Specific heat @25C ( J K-1 kg-1 ) 192

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