Elemental barium does not occur naturally. It is obtained by heating BaO with Al and, once refined, barium is a silvery white, soft metal which oxidises readily in air and water. Barium compounds, particularly BaSO4 , are used for various applications, including the manufacture of paint, as an addition to heavy duty drilling oils and in radiology.


Discovered by the Swedish pharmacist and chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele in 1774 and first isolated by the British chemist Humphry Davy in 1808.

500 ppm of Earth's crust.

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Atomic number 56 Clip
Atomic / Molecular Weight 137.33 gmol-1Clip
Density 3594 kgm-3Clip
Crystal Structure bcc Clip
Lattice constant 502 fmClip
Melting Point 1003 KClip
Boiling Point 1913 KClip
Specific heat capacity 192 Jkg-1K-1Clip
Electromotive Series 2.9 VClip
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See also: Barium Dioxide, Barium Oxide, Barium Sulphate, Baryta, Periodic Table, Radium.

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Subjects: Chemistry