Chemical Element: strontium

(Modern Latin: named for Strontian, "a village in Scotland"; metal)

Chemical-Element Information

Symbol: Sr
Atomic number: 38
Year discovered: First in 1790, by Adair Crawford of Scotland; then again in 1808, by Sir Humphry Davy, an English chemist.

Discovered by: Adair Crawford, of Scotland, in 1790 and Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829), an English chemist, in 1808.

  • Adair Crawford in 1790 recognized a new mineral (strontianite) in samples of witherite (a mineral consisting of barium carbonate) at Strontian in Argyll, Scotland.
  • It was some time before it was recognized that strontianite contained a new element.
  • Strontianite is now known to consist of strontium carbonate.
  • The element itself was not isolated for a number of years after this when strontium metal was isolated by Davy by electrolysis of a mixture containing strontium chloride and mercuric oxide in 1808.
  • It is distributed in small quantities in many different rocks and soils.
  • Some is present in bones, in which it replaces small amounts of calcium.
  • Compounds of strontium are not as extensively used as those of calcium or barium.

Name in other languages:

French: strontium

German: Strontium

Italian: stronzio

Spanish: estroncio

Information about other elements may be seen at this Chemical Elements List.

A special unit about words that include chemo-, chem- may be seen here.