SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rubidium reacting with water (4 of 6). A small piece of rubidium reacting with water. Rubidium (Rb) is an highly-reactive alkali metal element that reacts with water to produce the strong base rubidium hydroxide, also releasing hydrogen gas (see subsequent images in this sequence.) The indicator phenolphthalein was added to the water to highlight the reaction, as it turns from colourless to pink in the presence of the alkaline rubidium hydroxide. This image is a still taken from a high speed film shot at 2000 frames per second.
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