Polonium (Po)

By De Martin

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Properties

Polonium's atomic mass is 209 and its atomic radius is 190 pm (picometers). Polonium has a density of 9.196 g/cc. Its melting point is 254 C (489 F) and its boiling point is 962 C (1764 F).

At room temperature, this element is a solid.

Polonium has a silvery appearance.

Polonium's electrical conductivity decreases as the temperature increases. Both its malleability and hardness is unknown, but if I were to guess, I'd say that polonium has a high hardness.

Polonium is sometimes considered a metalloid.

Marie Curie

Marie Curie was born on November 7th, 1867 in Poland.

Marie and Pierre Curie discovered polonium in 1898 in Paris, France. Curie was experimenting with uranium when she discovered this new and extremely radioactive element.

This was the first element ever discovered by Marie Curie. She died on July 4th, 1934 from radioactive poisoning.

Uses of Polonium

Compounds and Isotopes

Almost all 50 compounds in polonium are synthetically created. The most stable are polonides (picture shown). They are created by a direct reaction between two elements.


There are no stable or "naturally occurring" isotopes in polonium, but there are 33 known radioactive isotopes. For a list of known isotopes, check out this link:

http://education.jlab.org/itselemental/iso084.html

Atomic Structure

Atomic Number: 209

Mass Number: 84

Protons: 84

Neutrons: 125

Electrons: 84


Where on the Periodic Table? Polonium is in the metalloid group (lower right side)

Flammability and Reactivity

The flammability of polonium is unknown.


Polonium is reactive and dissolves in dilute acids. A dilute acid is a water-acid solution. Therefor, dilute acids are not as acidic as it would normally be.

Citations

Dilute Acids: http://www.answers.com/Q/What_is_a_dilute_acid

Polonium Facts: http://www.chemicool.com/elements/polonium.html

  • Elements Book: Gray, Theodore W. (2009). The Elements: A visual exploration of every known atom in the universe. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.

  • Element Card: Gray, Theodore W. (2008). The Photographic Card Deck of the Elements.