Plutonium Nuclear Reactors Cassini Galileo Nuclear Weapons

Plutonium is named after the Greek god Pluto, the god of the underworld. He was the god of ghosts and spirits. The planet was named for the planet Pluto, now thought to not be a planet after all.

The element was discovered in 1930 and a chemical symbol is Pu.
Plutonium is a silvery metal and had six different crystalline forms is extremely reactive oxidizes when exposed to air. It is radio active in the main isotope has a half-life of 24,360 years is usually manufactured artificially in nuclear reactors and used primarily to make atomic bombs. Plutonium is in the rainy and series, a group of real radioactive elements, which means that they all emit certain kinds of ways. The radiation causes the elements disintegrate and turn into new elements. The new elements have a limited life span, which is expressed as half-lives, that is the amount of time it takes for the original quantity to be reduced by half.

Plutonium has an atomic number of 94, an atomic weight of 244 and a melting point of 913 K (640C or 1184F). It boils at 913 K (640C or 1184F) and has a density of 19.84 grams per cubic centimeter. It is a solid at room temperature.

It is radioactive and artificially produced. First produced by Glenn T. Seaborg, Joseph W. Kennedy, Edward M. McMillan and Arthur C. Wohl in 1941, when they bombarded an isotope of uranium, with deuterons that had been accelerated. The acceleration device was called a cyclotron. This process created the element neptunium along with two free neutrons. Neptunium has a half-life of 2.1 days and after that, it decays into plutonium. This discovery was made at the University of California, but because of security reasons due to the war at hand, the information was not communicated to the world until 1946.

Two isotopes of plutonium area used for electric generators for space probes like Cassini and Galileo, and in nuclear weapons reactors. The other isotopes of plutonium are only used for research. The most stable isotope of plutonium is plutonium-244. This isotope has a half-life of 82,000,000 years, which means that it takes twice as long, or 1,62,000,000 years for the metal to completely decompose.

The isotope Plutonium-239 has a half life of only 24,110 years, which is one of the reasons it is useful in nuclear weapons and nuclear generators. This isotope fissions in the same fuel rods that produce it, so it never has to be taken out of the nuclear reactor. which it is produced.