What is polonium in simple words?

polonium (Po), a radioactive, silvery-gray or black metallic element of the oxygen group (Group 16 [VIa] in the periodic table).

What is the function of polonium?

Polonium is an alpha-emitter, and is used as an alpha-particle source in the form of a thin film on a stainless steel disc. These are used in antistatic devices and for research purposes. A single gram of polonium will reach a temperature of 500°C as a result of the alpha radiation emitted.

What are polonium physical properties?

Polonium is a radioactive, extremely rare semi-metal. It is reactive, silvery-gray, it dissolves in dilute acids, but it is only slightly soluble in alkalis. it is fairly volatile: about half of a sample of it will evaporate within 3 days (unless it is kept in a sealed container).

What is polonium in chemistry?

Polonium is a chalcogen. A rare and highly radioactive metal with no stable isotopes, polonium is chemically similar to selenium and tellurium, though its metallic character resembles that of its horizontal neighbors in the periodic table: thallium, lead, and bismuth.

Is polonium found in cigarettes?

Most people know that cigarette smoke and tobacco contain many toxic substances including tar, arsenic, nicotine and cyanide. The common dangers of cigarettes have been known for decades. However, few people know that tobacco also contains radioactive materials: polonium-210 and lead-210.

How does polonium remove static electricity?

In general, they employ an alpha emitting radioactive source, usually polonium-210, to ionize the air immediately in front of the device. The ions produced in the air (positively charged oxygen and nitrogen molecules, and negatively charged electrons) are then attracted to the object that has the static charge.

What is the most radioactive thing on earth?

The radioactivity of radium then must be enormous. This substance is the most radioactive natural element, a million times more so than uranium. It is so radioactive that it gives off a pale blue glow.

Why is polonium so toxic?

Highly toxic It is radioactive because it emits alpha particles (helium ions). Because these are easily absorbed by other materials, even by a few thin sheets of paper or by a few centimetres of air, polonium has to be inside your body to damage you.

Is polonium used in bombs?

It was used in early nuclear weapons, but its short half-life meant the polonium products didn’t have much shelf life. It was used as part of the detonator in the atomic bomb that was dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki during World War II.

What does polonium feel like?

What are the symptoms of polonium poisoning? A poisoning victim experiences multiple organ failure as alpha radiation particles bombard the liver, kidneys and bone marrow from within. Symptoms including nausea, hair loss and throat swelling.

Is polonium the most radioactive element?

Polonium. Because it is a naturally-occurring element that releases a huge amount of energy, many sources cite polonium as the most radioactive element. Polonium is so radioactive it glows blue, which is caused by excitation of the gas particles by radiation.

How does polonium react?

Under controlled conditions polonium will react with chlorine, bromine and iodine to form tetrahalides. Polonium will dissolve in concentrated hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid and nitric acid, to form solutions containing Po(II).

How is polonium made?

Due to its scarcity, polonium is usually produced by bombarding bismuth-209 with neutrons in a nuclear reactor. This forms bismuth-210, which has a half-life of 5 days. Bismuth-210 decays into polonium-210 through beta decay. Milligram amounts of polonium-210 have been produced by this method.

How is polonium used in nuclear bombs?

Polonium, an emitter of alpha particles, and beryllium, which absorbs alpha particles and emits neutrons, were used in the trigger of the first atomic bombs. The two elements were kept apart until the very last moment; once mixed, they set off the explosion. 3. Polonium-210 can be found in the air.

Who gets the most radiation?

Albert Stevens (1887–1966), also known as patient CAL-1 and most radioactive human ever, was a house painter from Ohio who was subjected to an involuntary human radiation experiment and survived the highest known accumulated radiation dose in any human.

Where is the most radioactive place on earth?

1. Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant, Japan is one of the world’s most radioactive places. When a 9.1 magnitude earthquake caused a tsunami in 2011, it overwhelmed the existing safety features of the Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant and caused the worst nuclear power plant disaster since Chernobyl.

How radioactive is a smoker’s lungs?

Indeed, the lung tissues of smokers who have died of lung cancer have absorbed about 80-100 rads of radiation.

What happens if you touch polonium?

Polonium-210 cannot penetrate the skin, and the particles usually lose all their energy after traveling through a few centimeters of air. However, this also makes it safe to transport and hard to detect, for a would-be poisoner.

What is the deadliest radioactive material?

Polonium is a highly radioactive heavy metal. It is arguably the most lethal known material. Although it has some minor industrial uses it is best known for links with possible assassinations. It is also used to produce neutrons in the core of nuclear weapons.

What type of radiation does polonium emit?

Polonium 210 has a half-life of 138 days. Po-210 emits alpha particles, which carry high amounts of energy that can damage or destroy genetic material in cells inside the body.

What is the most radioactive fruit?

Bananas. Bananas are sufficiently radioactive that they can set off radiation alarms at ports and airports. They offer 1 pCi/kilogram from radon-226 and 3,520 pCi/kilogram from potassium-40. The high potassium content is part of why bananas are so nutritious.

What country is full of radiation?

Chernobyl, Ukraine Very sadly, as a result, the immediate effects of radiation exposure affected six-million innocent people, and experts believe that when all is said and done, the death toll from Chernobyl will be as high as 93,000 people.

What would happen if you touched the elephants foot?

In one hour, the Elephant’s Foot would expose you to the radiation of over four and a half million chest x-rays. That dose is almost 1,000 times stronger than exposures that have been clearly linked to increased cancer risk.

What happens if you touch plutonium?

A: Plutonium is, in fact, a metal very like uranium. If you hold it [in] your hand (and I’ve held tons of it my hand, a pound or two at a time), it’s heavy, like lead. It’s toxic, like lead or arsenic, but not much more so.

How much polonium-210 is in a cigarette?

The results of this work indicate that the average (range) activity concentration of (210)Po in cigarette tobacco was 16.6 (9.7-22.5) mBq/cigarette.

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