October 17, 2010

Plutonium [Pu] Research & Monogram Variations

Plutonium known as [Pu] is a transuranic radioactive chemical element with the atomic number of 94. Transuranic elements are elements with an atomic number greater than the atomic number 92. Any of these elements with an atomic number over 92 are unstable elements and when they decay they give off radioactivity into other elements. Plutonium is a metal of silvery-white appearance that tarnishes when exposed to air, forming a dull coating when oxidized. When the oxidized metal flakes off in the form of a powder it can spontaneously ignite. Plutonium is also known as a radioactive poison that settles in bone marrow if exposure occurs.  Plutonium is the heaviest primordial element, which means it is the heaviest element naturally found on earth. Except for trace quantities it is no longer found in the Earth's crust and is primarily created as the byproduct of one third of all nuclear power plants from which it is part of the reactor process and from the recovered remains of nuclear weapons.

Plutonium was first replicated in the 1940’s by a team led by Glenn T. Seaborg and Edwin McMillan at the University of California, Berkeley. They did this by bombarding uranium-238 with deuterons. McMillan named the new element after Pluto, and Seaborg suggested the symbol [Pu] as a joke. Plutonium was first mass-produced for the first time was a major part of the Manhattan Project during World War II, which the results were the first atomic bombs.

No comments: