Physicists create device for imitating biological memory

Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology have created a device that acts like a synapse in the living brain, storing information and gradually forgetting it when not accessed for a long time. Known ...

Tiny sensors, big potential

The electrical energy from batteries powers not only the ignition system that turns the engine and moves electric vehicles but also powers almost every sensing feature of today's automobiles. Electricity turns on the car ...

A way to make cleaner metal-free perovskites at low cost

A team of researchers at Southeast University in China has found a way to make metal-free perovskites in a useable form. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their technique and how well it ...

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Barium

Barium ( /ˈbɛəriəm/ bair-ee-əm) is a chemical element with the symbol Ba and atomic number 56. It is the fifth element in Group 2, a soft silvery metallic alkaline earth metal. Barium is never found in nature in its pure form due to its reactivity with air. Its oxide is historically known as baryta but it reacts with water and carbon dioxide and is not found as a mineral. The most common naturally occurring minerals are the very insoluble barium sulfate, BaSO4 (barite), and barium carbonate, BaCO3 (witherite). Barium's name originates from Greek barys (βαρύς), meaning "heavy", describing the high density of some common barium-containing ores.

Barium has few industrial applications, but the metal has been historically used to scavenge air in vacuum tubes. Barium compounds impart a green color to flames and have been used in fireworks. Barium sulfate is used for its density, insolubility, and X-ray opacity. It is used as an insoluble heavy mud-like paste when drilling oil wells, and in purer form, as an X-ray radiocontrast agent for imaging the human gastrointestinal tract. Soluble barium compounds are poisonous due to release of the soluble barium ion, and have been used as rodenticides. New uses for barium continue to be sought. It is a component of some "high temperature" YBCO superconductors, and electroceramics.

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