- Uranium-238 forms about 99.3 per cent of natural uranium. Unlike uranium-235, it is unable to sustain a nuclear chain reaction, making it unsuitable for use in nuclear power or nuclear weapons. However, the isotope plutonium-239, which is fissile, can be produced by bombarding uranium-238 with low-energy neutrons..
1920s; earliest use found in London, Edinburgh and Dublin Philosophical Magazine.
1930s; earliest use found in Science News.
- It is not possible, however, to construct weapons directly out of uranium or slightly enriched uranium.
- All countries have uranium, uranium is a very common material around the world.
- It is not certain if the effects are due to the chemical or the radioactive properties of uranium.
Uranium is a chemically reactive metal belonging to the actinide series. Becquerel discovered radioactivity in uranium in 1896, and its capacity to undergo fission led to its use as a source of energy, though the fissile isotope, uranium-235, has to be separated from the more common uranium-238 before it can be used in nuclear weapons. The atom bomb exploded over Hiroshima in 1945 contained uranium-235.
A rare radioactive metal, uranium is found in the mineral pitchblende. The German chemist Martin Klaproth isolated the metal and called it uranium after the planet Uranus, which the astronomer Sir William Herschel had discovered less than a decade before, in 1781.
Words that rhyme with uraniumcranium, geranium, germanium, Herculaneum, titanium
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