Discovered by R. Bunsen and G. R. Kirchoff at Heidelberg,
Soft, shiny, gold colored metal; reacts rapidly with oxygen
and explosively with water. Used as catalyst promoter, in special glasses,
and in radiation monitoring equipment. The first element to be discovered
spectroscopically and forms the basis for "atomic clocks"
because of the ease in which the element is ionized.
In solution, cesium will give a flame test
color of a beautiful
sky-blue. This flame test will be contaminated with the colors of the
other alkaline elements which are present in the sample. You will probably
need a diffraction spectroscope to view the two blue emission lines from
Emsley, J., 1991; THE ELEMENTS : Sec. Ed.,
Clarendon Press, Oxford, 251 p.