A metallic chemical element; symbol Rb. Atomic number 37; atomic weight 85.4678; melting point 38.89°C; boiling point 686°C; specific gravity 1.53 at 20°C. It was discovered in the mineral lepidolite by the German chemist Robert Wilhelm Bunsen and the German physicist Gustav-Robert Kirchoff in 1861. Bunsen isolated rubidium in 1863.
From L. rubidus "deep red," because of the two "deep red lines" in its spectra.