Plutonium: A History of the Worlds Most Dangerous Element by Jeremy BernsteinWhen plutonium was first manufactured at Berkeley in the spring of 1941, there was so little of it that it was not visible to the naked eye. It took a year to accumulate enough so that one could actually see it. Now there is so much that we dona (TM)t know what to do to get rid of it. We have created a monster. The history of plutonium is as strange as the element itself. When scientists began looking for it, they did so simply in the spirit of inquiry, not certain whether there were still spots to fill on the periodic table. But the discovery of fission made it clear that this still-hypothetical element would be more than just a scientific curiositya it could be a powerful nuclear weapon.
As it turned out, it is good for almost nothing else. Plutoniuma (TM)s nuclear potential put it at the heart of the World War II arms racea the Russians found out about it through espionage, the Germans through independent research, and everybody wanted some. Now, nearly everyone has somea the United States alone has about 47 metric tonsa but it has almost no uses besides warmongering. How did the product of scientific curiosity become such a dangerous burden?
In his new history of this complex and dangerous element, noted physicist Jeremy Bernstein describes the steps that were taken to transform plutonium from a laboratory novelty into the nuclear weapon that destroyed Nagasaki. This is the first book to weave together the many strands of plutoniuma (TM)s story, explaining not only the science but the people involved.
7 Strangest & Coolest Materials Which Actually Exist !
Facts About Plutonium (Pu or Atomic Number 94)
Plutonium Pu , radioactive chemical element of the actinoid series of the periodic table , atomic number It is the most important transuranium element because of its use as fuel in certain types of nuclear reactors and as an ingredient in nuclear weapons. Plutonium is a silvery metal that takes on a yellow tarnish in air. The element was first detected as the isotope plutonium by American chemists Glenn T. Seaborg , Joseph W. Kennedy, and Arthur C.
Allotropes Some elements exist in several different structural forms, called allotropes. Each allotrope has different physical properties. For more information on the Visual Elements image see the Uses and properties section below. Group A vertical column in the periodic table. Members of a group typically have similar properties and electron configurations in their outer shell. Period A horizontal row in the periodic table.
Plutonium pronounced as ploo-TOE-nee-em is a naturally-occurring radioactive element that belongs to the family of actinide metals. It reacts readily with oxygen , carbon , silicon , nitrogen , and halogens to form stable compounds . Denoted by the chemical symbol Pu, it has 17 isotopes with mass numbers ranging from to of which Pu is the most stable having a half-life of The main sources of Pu are uranium ores, but most of it is man-made, obtained from irradiated uranium in nuclear reactors through reprocessing. Another method to produce Pu is by reducing plutonium tetrafluoride with calcium . Origin of its Name: The name of the element has come from the planet Pluto .
Discovery & history
Plutonium is a radioactive, silver metal that can be used to create or destroy. While it was used for destruction soon after it was made, today the element is used mostly for creating energy throughout the world. Plutonium was first produced and isolated in and was used to make the "Fat Man" atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki at the end of World War II, just five years after it was first produced, said Amanda Simson, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of New Haven. Here are the properties of plutonium, according to the Los Alamos National Laboratory :. Plutonium was discovered in by scientists Joseph W.
Plutonium is one of the elements on the periodic table of elements. Plutonium is a primordial element. A primordial element is something that has existed in its current form ever since the earth was formed! However, plutonium is not a very stable element. It decays very fast.
Parents and Teachers : Support Ducksters by following us on or. History Biography Geography Science Games. Plutonium atoms have 94 electrons and 94 protons with 2 valence electrons in the outer shell. There are neutrons in the most abundant isotope. Characteristics and Properties Under standard conditions plutonium is a hard, brittle, silvery metal. It is a poor conductor of electricity and heat. When exposed to air, it becomes covered in a dark gray layer of oxidation.