Wikijunior:The Elements/Polonium

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Shows the position of Polonium on the periodic chart.
Polonium's symbol on the Periodic Table

What does it look, feel, taste, or smell like?[edit | edit source]

Polonium is a silvery metal at room temperature. It feels much like its neighbor, lead. You would not want to taste it as it is deadly poison.

How was it discovered?[edit | edit source]

Polonium was discovered by Marie and Pierre Curie in 1898. They isolated it from pitchblende, which also contains uranium.

Where did its name come from?[edit | edit source]

The name "polonium" comes from Poland, where Marie Curie was born. It is also referred to as Radium F.

Did You Know?

  • Polonium is so radioactive that it spontaneously heats up and vaporises, even at room temperature.

Where is it found?[edit | edit source]

Polonium is very rare and only occurs as an impurity in some uranium ores.

What are its uses?[edit | edit source]

Polonium doesn't have much use because it's so radioactive. Because it produces so much heat from its radioactivity, it's used in some generators which use that heat to produce electricity.

Is it dangerous?[edit | edit source]

Polonium is toxic and radioactive. This radioactivity is very dangerous. Because polonium is so radioactive, it heats up quickly and can cause burns.