The full Electron configuration of strontium is 1s2 – 2s2 – 2p6 – 3s2 – 3p6 – 3d 10 -4s2 – 4p6 – 5s2. Strontium is part of the periodic table. It is a chemical element whose atomic number is 38, its symbol is M. It is characterized by being a soft metal, its color is shiny and silvery, it has a certain malleability, it is alkaline-earth.
It oxidizes rapidly when it comes into the presence of air, obtaining a yellowish color due to the formation of oxide, so it should be stored when immersed in paraffin.
Thanks to its great reactivity, this metal is found in nature in association with other elements creating compounds. It reacts quickly with water, releasing molecular hydrogen to create strontium hydroxide. It has three allotropic states with transition points ranging from 235 degrees Celsius to 540 degrees Celsius.
This metal burns when present in the air, spontaneously if it is a finely divided powder. Their flame is pinkish red and they form nitrides and oxides because hydrogen does not react below 380 degrees centigrade and only forms oxide when burning at room temperature. Volatile strontium salts give a purple color to flames, which is why they are used in pyrotechnics.
Electron configuration of strontium
The atomic number of strontium is 38. Its complete Electron configuration is 1s2 – 2s2 – 2p6 – 3s2 – 3p6 – 3d 10 -4s2 – 4p6 – 5s2. Its simplified Electron configuration is [Kr] 5s2
Currently, the most notable use of this element in science is to build more accurate and modern atomic clocks, surpassing the cesium atomic clocks used today.
Until some time ago, strontium was also used in the crystals of cathode ray tubes in color televisions, since there were legal regulations that required the use of this metal to filter x-rays, preventing them from reach the viewer. Other uses of strontium are:
- To produce ferrite magnets.
- In pyrotechnics with nitrate.
- Strontium titanate has an extremely high refractive index and greater optical dispersion than diamond, these properties are of interest in different optical applications. It was sometimes used as jewelry.
- The carbonate is used in the refining of zinc to remove lead during electrolysis, as a component of various alloys and in the desulfurization of steel.
- Strontium ranelate is a drug used for the treatment of osteoporosis, prescribed in the European Union but not in the United States.
- The radioactive isotope Sr-85 is used in radiology, Sr-89 is used in cancer treatment and Sr-90 in self-powered power generators.
- There are other strontium compounds that are used to make glass products, ceramics, fluorescent lamps, paint pigments, and drugs.
Warnings about strontium in humans
Pure strontium is very reactive, it burns spontaneously on contact with air, so it is considered a fire hazard.
The human body obtains strontium in the same way as calcium. Non-radioactive and stable forms of strontium do not produce adverse health effects, but radioactive Sr-90 accumulates in the body, prolonging radiation exposure and causing various disorders, including bone cancer.
There are other strontium salts such as strontium carbonate or strontium citrate which are promoted as natural therapies and are sold in very high doses than can normally enter the human body. The long term effects of these utilities are not exactly known as they have never been evaluated in humans by large scale medical experiments.