Sandia Preparatory School, Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.
Plutonium: First discovered by Ernico Fermi, and synthesized by Glenn Seaborg and Edwin McMillan in 1940, plutonium (Pu, 94) is a transuranic, radioactive element. However, the primordial element can be synthetically produced. The silvery-white element tarnishes when exposed to air, produces oxides and hydrides, and poisons bone marrow. The most important isotope, plutonium-239, has a half life of 24,100 years, and is most useful for nuclear weapons. The first and second atom bombs both used plutonium-239, and after a short stint of use in nuclear reactors during the Cold War, its use, above ground, is now banned. This tile was made using Adobe Photoshop. Aside from the required and commonly found information on the periodic table, we wanted to represent several of the defining factors of plutonium on the tile, including its properties and common uses.
Rachel Greenberg and Michael Womble, Sandia Preparatory School, Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.
Number of isotopes:
* Haynes, W. M. (2011). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 91st edition: http://www.hbcponline.com/ Retrieved April 7, 2011
** Winter, M. (2010). Home of the Periodic Table. Retrieved April 8, 2011, from Web Elements: http://www.webelements.com/