polonium definition

  • noun:
    • A naturally radioactive metallic element, happening in minute quantities as an item of radium disintegration and produced by pestering bismuth or lead with neutrons. It's 27 isotopes ranging in mass number from 192 to 218, which Po 210, with a half-life of 138.39 days, is considered the most easily available. Atomic quantity 84; melting point 254°C; boiling point 962°C; specific-gravity 9.32; valence 2, 4. See Table at factor.
    • a chemical element (symbol Po) with atomic number 84.
    • A radioactive chemical element, found by M. and MMe. Curie in pitchblende, and initially called radium F. It has atomic number 84 and an atomic body weight of 210. Its a rather uncommon natural element, having an abundance in uranium ores just 0.2percent compared to radium. It is closely associated chemically to bismuth. It gives off only alpha rays, and it has a half-life of 138 times. It's therefore much more unstable than radium, and a milligram of polonium emits as much alpha particles as 5 grams of radium. Twenty-seven isotopes are known, with atomic masses from 192 to 218. At the moment an even more useful approach to preparation than isolation from ores could be the preparation by neutron bombardment of bismuth in a nuclear reactor, and it is obtained commercially by people having the right permit.
    • A radioactive substance discovered in pitchblende by M. and Mme. Curie in 1898: known as honoring Poland, the indigenous country Of Mme. Curie.
    • a radioactive metallic factor which just like tellurium and bismuth; does occur in uranium ores but could be made by bombarding bismuth with neutrons in a nuclear reactor

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