Barium was discovered early in the 1600’s by the shoemaker Vincentius Casciorolus. In the mountains of Bologna, Italy he acquired a silvery white mineral that when heated would glow in the dark for hours after heating. It was not until 1808 when Humphry Davy isolated Barium by electrolysis of Barium sulphate similar to his work with Strontium. Barium is not found naturally occurring in the earth’s crust instead existing in the ores barite and witherite. It is most commonly used in the production of superconductors and in x-ray imagining of the digestive system. It is a solid metal at room temperature with a melting point of 727°c and a boiling point of 1897°c.
Sir Humphrey Davy
Barite, or barium sulfate (BaSO4), when ground is used as a filter for rubber, plastics, and resins. It is insoluable in water and so is used in X-rays of the digestive system. Barium nitrate, Ba(NO3)2, burns brilliant green and is used in fireworks.
Found in barytine (BaSO4) and witherite (BaCO3), never found in pure form due to its reactivity. Must be stored under kerosene to remain pure.