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Polonium is a chemical element with symbol Po and atomic number 84, discovered

in 1898 by Marie Curie and Pierre Curie. A rare and highly radioactive element with
no stable isotopes, polonium is chemically similar to bismuth and tellurium, and it
occurs in uranium ores. Applications of polonium are few. They include heaters in
space probes, antistatic devices, and sources of neutrons and alpha particles.
Because of its position in the periodic table, polonium is sometimes classified as a
metalloid.[3] Other sources say that on the basis of its properties and behavior, it is
"unambiguously a metal."

Also tentatively called "radium F", polonium was discovered by Marie and Pierre Curie in 1898,
and was named after Marie Curie's native land of Poland (Latin: Polonia). Polonium may be the
first element named to highlight a political controversy.
This element was the first one discovered by the Curies while they were investigating the cause
of pitchblende radioactivity. Pitchblende, after removal of the radioactive elements uranium and
thorium, was more radioactive than the uranium and thorium combined. This spurred the Curies
to search for additional radioactive elements. They first separated out polonium from pitchblende
in July 1898, and five months later, also isolated radium.
The Atomic Energy Commission and the Manhattan Project funded human experiments using
polonium on 5 people at the University of Rochester between 1943 and 1947. The people were
administered between 9 and 22 microcuries (330 and 810 kBq) of polonium to study its
excretion.
Polonium has 33 known isotopes, all of which are radioactive. They have atomic masses that
range from 188 to 220 u. 210Po (half-life 138.376 days) is the most widely available. The longerlived 209Po (half-life 125.2 3.3 years, longest-lived of all polonium isotopes)[2] and 208Po (half-life
2.9 years) can be made through the alpha, proton, or deuteron bombardment of lead or bismuth
in a cyclotron.[5]
Po is an alpha emitter that has a half-life of 138.4 days; it decays directly to its stable daughter
isotope, 206Pb. A milligram (5 curies) of 210Po emits about as many alpha particles per second as
5 grams of 226Ra.[6] A few curies (1 curie equals 37 gigabecquerels, 1 Ci = 37 GBq) of 210Po emit a
blue glow which is caused by excitation of surrounding air.
210

About one in 100,000 alpha emissions causes an excitation in the nucleus which then results in
the emission of a gamma ray with a maximum energy of 803 keV
Polonium is a radioactive element that exists in two metallic allotropes. The alpha form is the
only known example of a simple cubic crystal structure in a single atom basis, with an edge
length of 335.2 picometers; the beta form is rhombohedral.[9][10][11] The structure of polonium has
been characterized by X-ray diffraction[12][13] and electron diffraction.[14]

Po (in common with 238Pu) has the ability to become airborne with ease: if a sample is heated in
air to 55 C (131 F), 50% of it is vaporized in 45 hours to form diatomic Po2 molecules, even
though the melting point of polonium is 254 C (489 F) and its boiling point is 962 C
(1,764 F).[15][16][1] More than one hypothesis exists for how polonium does this; one suggestion is
that small clusters of polonium atoms are spalled off by the alpha decay.
210

Chemistry
The chemistry of polonium is similar to that of tellurium and bismuth. Polonium dissolves
readily in dilute acids, but is only slightly soluble in alkalis. Polonium solutions are first colored
in pink by the Po2+ ions, but then rapidly become yellow because alpha radiation from polonium
ionizes the solvent and converts Po2+ into Po4+. This process is accompanied by bubbling and
emission of heat and light by glassware due to the absorbed alpha particles; as a result, polonium
solutions are volatile and will evaporate within days unless sealed.[17][18]
Compounds
Polonium has no common compounds, and almost all of its compounds are synthetically created;
more than 50 of those are known.[19] The most stable class of polonium compounds are polonides,
which are prepared by direct reaction of two elements. Na2Po has the antifluorite structure, the
polonides of Ca, Ba, Hg, Pb and lanthanides form a NaCl lattice, BePo and CdPo have the
wurtzite and MgPo the nickel arsenide structure. Most polonides decompose upon heating to
about 600 C, except for HgPo that decomposes at ~300 C and the lanthanide polonides, which
do not decompose but melt at temperatures above 1000 C. For example PrPo melts at 1250 C
and TmPo at 2200 C.[20] PbPo is one of the very few naturally occurring polonium compounds,
as polonium alpha decays to form lead.[21]
Polonium hydride (PoH
2) is a volatile liquid at room temperature prone to dissociation.[20] The two oxides PoO2 and PoO3
are the products of oxidation of polonium.[22]
Halides of the structure PoX2, PoX4 and PoX6 are known. They are soluble in the corresponding
hydrogen halides, i.e., PoClX in HCl, PoBrX in HBr and PoI4 in HI.[23] Polonium dihalides are
formed by direct reaction of the elements or by reduction of PoCl4 with SO2 and with PoBr4 with
H2S at room temperature. Tetrahalides can be obtained by reacting polonium dioxide with HCl,
HBr or HI.[24]
Other polonium compounds include acetate, bromate, carbonate, citrate, chromate, cyanide,
formate, hydroxide, nitrate, selenate, monosulfide, sulfate and disulfate.
Krypton (from Greek: kryptos "the hidden one") is a chemical element with symbol Kr
and atomic number 36. It is a member of group 18 (noble gases) elements. A colorless, odorless,
tasteless noble gas, krypton occurs in trace amounts in the atmosphere, is isolated by fractionally
distilling liquefied air, and is often used with other rare gases in fluorescent lamps. Krypton is
inert for most practical purposes.

A whitish, largely inert gaseous element used chiefly in gas discharge lamps and
fluorescent lamps. Solid krypton is a white crystalline substance with a face-centered
cubic structure which is common to all the 'rare gases'. The Atomic Number of this
element is 36 and the Element Symbol is Kr.
Krypton, like the other noble gases, can be used in lighting and photography. Krypton light has a
large number of spectral lines, and krypton's high light output in plasmas allows it to play an
important role in many high-powered gas lasers (krypton ion and excimer lasers), which pick out
one of the many spectral lines to amplify. There is also a specific krypton fluoride laser. The high
power and relative ease of operation of krypton discharge tubes caused (from 1960 to 1983) the
official length of a meter to be defined in terms of the wavelength of the 605 nm (orange)
spectral line of krypton-86.
Krypton was discovered in Britain in 1898 by Sir William Ramsay, a Scottish chemist, and
Morris Travers, an English chemist, in residue left from evaporating nearly all components of
liquid air. Neon was discovered by a similar procedure by the same workers just a few weeks
later.[5] William Ramsay was awarded the 1904 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovery of a series
of noble gases, including krypton.
In 1960, the International Conference on Weights and Measures defined the meter as
1,650,763.73 wavelengths of light emitted by the krypton-86 isotope.[6][7] This agreement replaced
the 1889 international prototype meter located in Paris, which was a metal bar made of a
platinum-iridium alloy (one of a series of standard meter bars, originally constructed to be one
ten-millionth of a quadrant of the Earth's polar circumference). This also obsoleted the 1927
definition of the ngstrm based on the red cadmium spectral line,[8] replacing it with 1 =
1010 m. The krypton-86 definition lasted until the October 1983 conference, which redefined the
meter as the distance that light travels in a vacuum during 1/299,792,458 s.[9][10][11]

Characteristics
Krypton is characterized by several sharp emission lines (spectral signatures) the strongest being
green and yellow.[12] It is one of the products of uranium fission.[13] Solidified krypton is white and
crystalline with a face-centered cubic crystal structure, which is a common property of all noble
gases (except helium, with a hexagonal close-packed crystal structure).
Isotopes
Main article: Isotopes of krypton

Naturally occurring krypton is made of six stable isotopes. In addition, about thirty unstable
isotopes and isomers are known.[14] 81Kr, the product of atmospheric reactions, is produced with
the other naturally occurring isotopes of krypton. Being radioactive, it has a half-life of 230,000

years. Krypton is highly volatile when it is near surface waters but 81Kr has been used for dating
old (50,000800,000 years) groundwater.[15]
Kr is an inert radioactive noble gas with a half-life of 10.76 years. It is produced by the fission
of uranium and plutonium, such as in nuclear bomb testing and nuclear reactors. 85Kr is released
during the reprocessing of fuel rods from nuclear reactors. Concentrations at the North Pole are
30% higher than at the South Pole due to convective mixing.[16]
85

Chemistry

Like the other noble gases, krypton is highly chemically unreactive. However, following the first
successful synthesis of xenon compounds in 1962, synthesis of krypton difluoride (KrF
2) was reported in 1963. In fact, before the 1960s, no noble gas compounds had been discovered.
[17]
Under extreme conditions, krypton reacts with fluorine to form KrF2 according to the
following equation:
Kr + F2 KrF2

In the same year, KrF


4 was reported by Grosse, et al.,[18] but was subsequently shown to be a mistaken identification.[19]
There are also unverified reports of a barium salt of a krypton oxoacid.[20] ArKr+ and KrH+
polyatomic ions have been investigated and there is evidence for KrXe or KrXe+.[21]
Compounds with krypton bonded to atoms other than fluorine have also been discovered. The
reaction of KrF
2 with B(OTeF
5)
3 produces an unstable compound, Kr(OTeF
5)
2, that contains a krypton-oxygen bond. A krypton-nitrogen bond is found in the cation [HCN
KrF]+
, produced by the reaction of KrF
2 with [HCNH]+
[AsF
6] below 50 C.[22][23] HKrCN and HKrCCH (krypton hydride-cyanide and
hydrokryptoacetylene) were reported to be stable up to 40 K.
Lead (/ld/) is a chemical element in the carbon group with symbol Pb (from Latin: plumbum)
and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable and heavy post-transition metal. Metallic lead
has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when
exposed to air. Lead has a shiny chrome-silver luster when it is melted into a liquid. It is also one
of the heaviest non-radioactive elements.
Lead is used in building construction, lead-acid batteries, bullets and shot, weights, as part of
solders, pewters, fusible alloys, and as a radiation shield. Lead has the highest atomic number of

all of the stable elements, although the next higher element, bismuth, has one isotope with a halflife that is so long (over one billion times the estimated age of the universe) that it can be
considered stable. Lead's four stable isotopes have 82 protons, a magic number in the nuclear
shell model of atomic nuclei. The isotope lead-208 also has 126 neutrons, another magic number,
and is hence double magic, a property that grants it enhanced stability: lead-208 is the heaviest
known stable isotope.
If ingested, lead is poisonous to animals and humans, damaging the nervous system and causing
brain disorders. Excessive lead also causes blood disorders in mammals. Like the element
mercury, another heavy metal, lead is a neurotoxin that accumulates both in soft tissues and the
bones. Lead poisoning has been documented from ancient Rome, ancient Greece, and ancient
China.

Characteristics
Lead is a bright and silvery metal with a very slight shade of blue in a dry atmosphere.[1] Upon
contact with air, it begins to tarnish by forming a complex mixture of compounds depending on
the conditions. The color of the compounds can vary. The tarnish layer can contain significant
amounts of carbonates and hydroxycarbonates.[2][3] Lead's characteristic properties include high
density, softness, ductility and malleability, poor electrical conductivity compared to other
metals, high corrosion resistance, and ability to react with organic chemicals.[1]
Various traces of other metals change its properties significantly: the addition of small amounts
of antimony or copper to lead increases the alloy's hardness and improves corrosion resistance to
sulfuric acid.[1] Some other metals, such as cadmium, tin, and tellurium, also improve hardness
and fight metal fatigue. Sodium and calcium also have this ability, but they reduce the alloy's
chemical stability.[1] Finally, zinc and bismuth simply impair the corrosion resistance (0.1%
bismuth content is the industrial usage threshold).[1] Conversely, lead impurities mostly worsen
the quality of industrial materials, although there are exceptions: for example, small amounts of
lead improve the ductility of steel.[1]
Lead has only one common allotrope, which is face-centered cubic, with the leadlead distance
being 349 pm.[4] At 327.5 C (621.5 F),[5] lead melts; the melting point is above that of tin
(232 C, 449.5 F),[5] but significantly below that of germanium (938 C, 1721 F).[6] The boiling
point of lead is 1749 C (3180 F),[7] which is below those of both tin (2602 C, 4716 F)[5] and
germanium (2833 C, 5131 F).[6] Densities increase down the group: the Ge and Sn values
(5.23[8] and 7.29 gcm3,[9] respectively) are significantly below that of lead: 11.32 gcm3.[8]

A lead atom has 82 electrons, having an electronic configuration of [Xe]4f145d106s26p2. In its


compounds, lead (unlike the other group 14 elements) most commonly loses its two and not four
outermost electrons, becoming lead(II) ions, Pb2+. Such unusual behavior is rationalized by
considering the inert pair effect, which occurs because of the stabilization of the 6s-orbital due to
relativistic effects, which are stronger closer to the bottom of the periodic table.[10] Tin shows a
weaker such effect: tin(II) is still a reducer.[10]
The figures for electrode potential show that lead is only slightly easier to oxidize than hydrogen.
Lead thus can dissolve in acids, but this is often impossible due to specific problems (such as the
formation of insoluble salts).[11] Powdered lead burns with a bluish-white flame. As with many
metals, finely divided powdered lead exhibits pyrophoricity.[12] Toxic fumes are released when
lead is burned.
Isotopes[edit]
Main article: Isotopes of lead

Lead occurs naturally on Earth exclusively in the form of four isotopes: lead-204, -206, -207, and
-208.[13] All four can be radioactive as the hypothetical alpha decay of any would be exothermic,
but the lower half-life limit has been put only for lead-204: over 1.41017 years.[14] This effect is,
however, so weak that natural lead poses no radiation hazard. Three isotopes are also found in
three of the four major decay chains: lead-206, -207 and -208 are final decay products of
uranium-238, uranium-235, and thorium-232, respectively. Since the amounts of them in nature
depend also on other elements' presence, the isotopic composition of natural lead varies by
sample: in particular, the relative amount of lead-206 varies between 20.84% and 27.78%.[13]
Aside from the stable ones, thirty-four radioisotopes have been synthesized: they have mass
numbers of 178215.[14] Lead-205 is the most stable radioisotope of lead, with a half-life of over
107 years. 47 nuclear isomers (long-lived excited nuclear states), corresponding to 24 lead
isotopes, have been characterized. The most long-lived isomer is lead-204m2 (half-life of about
1.1 hours).[14]
Chemical reactivity[edit]

Lead is classified as a post-transition metal and is also a member of the carbon group. Massive
lead forms a protective oxide layer, but finely powdered highly purified lead can ignite in air.
Melted lead is oxidized in air to lead monoxide. All chalcogens oxidize lead upon heating.[15]
Fluorine does not oxidize cold lead. Hot lead can be oxidized, but the formation of a protective
halide layer lowers the intensity of the reaction above 100 C (210 F). The reaction with
chlorine is similar: thanks to the chloride layer, lead persistence against chlorine surpasses that of
copper or steel up to 300 C (570 F).[15]

Water in the presence of oxygen attacks lead to start an accelerating reaction. The presence of
carbonates or sulfates results in the formation of insoluble lead salts, which protect the metal
from corrosion. So does carbon dioxide, as the insoluble lead carbonate is formed; however, an
excess of the gas leads to the formation of the soluble bicarbonate, which makes the use of lead
pipes dangerous.[11] Lead dissolves in organic acids (in the presence of oxygen) and concentrated
(80%) sulfuric acid thanks to complexation; however, it is only weakly affected by hydrochloric
acid and is stable against hydrofluoric acid, as the corresponding halides are weakly soluble.
Lead also dissolves in quite concentrated alkalis (10%) because of the amphoteric character and
solubility of plumbites.[11]

Compounds[edit]
Lead compounds exist mainly in two main oxidation states, +2 and +4. The former is more
common. Inorganic lead(IV) compounds are typically strong oxidants or exist only in highly
acidic solutions.[