|a. a highly radioactive luminescent white element of the alkaline earth group of metals. It occurs in pitchblende, carnotite, and other uranium ores, and is used in radiotherapy and in luminous paints. Symbol: Ra; atomic no: 88; half-life of most stable isotope, 226Ra: 1620 years; valency: 2; relative density: 5; melting pt: 700°C; boiling pt: 1140°C|
|b. (as modifier): radium needle|
|[C20: from Latin radius ray]|
radium ra·di·um (rā'dē-əm)
A luminescent, highly radioactive metallic element found in minute amounts in uranium ores, used as a neutron source for some research purposes, and formerly used in cancer radiotherapy; its most stable isotope is Ra 226 with a half-life of 1,622 years. Atomic number 88; melting point 700°C; boiling point 1,140°C; valence 2.
|radium (rā'dē-əm) Pronunciation Key
A rare, bright-white, highly radioactive element of the alkaline-earth group. It occurs naturally in very small amounts in ores and minerals containing uranium, and it is naturally luminescent. Radium is used as a source of radon gas for the treatment of disease and as a neutron source for scientific research. Its most stable isotope is Ra 226 with a half-life of 1,622 years. Atomic number 88; melting point 700°C; boiling point 1,737°C; valence 2. See Periodic Table.