One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The chemical element of atomic number 38, a soft silver-white metal of the alkaline earth series. Its salts are used in fireworks and flares because they give a brilliant red light.
- ‘The Scottish village is Strontia and the element is the alkaline earth metal strontium.’
- ‘ARS developed methods using calcium to remove strontium - 90 radioactivity from wheat and milk in 1962.’
- ‘The scattering response of the system is not identical for calcium and strontium.’
- ‘Plants incorporate strontium in place of calcium but the amount is determined by the relative abundance of these elements in the soil.’
- ‘Because of its chemical closeness to calcium, strontium can comfortably replace the lighter element in enamel, dentin, and bone.’
Early 19th century: from strontia + -ium.
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