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light metallic element, 1808, coined in Modern Latin by English chemist Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829) from Strontian, name of a parish in Argyllshire, Scotland, the site of lead mines where strontium was first found.
strontium stron·ti·um (strŏn'chē-əm, -tē-əm, -shəm)
A soft, easily oxidized metallic element that ignites spontaneously in air when finely divided. Atomic number 38; atomic weight 87.62; melting point 777°C; boiling point 1,382°C; specific gravity 2.54; valence 2.
A soft, silvery metallic element of the alkaline-earth group that occurs naturally only as a sulfate or carbonate. One of its isotopes is used in the radiometric dating of rocks. Because strontium salts burn with a red flame, they are used to make fireworks and signal flares. Atomic number 38; atomic weight 87.62; melting point 769°C; boiling point 1,384°C; specific gravity 2.54; valence 2. See Periodic Table.