What is true about all uranium atoms? Uranium is an element that has some specifics or special properties for example it was the first element used by Alert Einstein in the nuclear bomb production.
Yes, it is radioactive but is that all we know about uranium atoms? Not really, I am going to show you 10 facts about all uranium atoms.
What is true about all Uranium atoms?
Uranium isotope is commonly used as a fuel in nuclear reactors but there are other important facts common to uranium atoms that e need to study.
10 Facts about Uranium atoms
1. All Uranium atoms have 92 protons and 92 electrons
All uranium atoms contain 92 protons and 92 electrons and 6 valence electrons. These sub particles are constant for every atom of uranium.
Every uranium atom is neutral based on same number of protons and electrons that balance out.
2. All Uranium atoms of the isotopes are radioactive
All atoms of uranium isotopes are radioactive and have different half lives of disintegration.
Uranium is a naturally occurring radioactive element with several isotopes that are unstable. Some isotopes of uranium are naturally occurring while few are radioactive.
However the most common predominant isotopes are uranium-235 and uranium-238.
3. All Uranium isotopes have different neutrons
Number of neutrons and protons make up the mass number or nucleons. Because the mass numbers of the isotopes are different, it implies that the neutrons are different.
Take a look at the different number of neutrons of the isotopes of Uranium.
|Number of Protons
|Number of Neutrons
4. Uranium has three naturally occurring isotopes and three artificial isotopes
Uranium has three known naturally occurring isotopes Uranium-238, Uranium-235 and uranium 234. Also there are three artificial isotopes.
The most stable isotope of Uranium is uranium -238 and the most unstable is the uranium -214.
What is the relative abundance of uranium?
Recall that uranium has three naturally occurring uranium is composed of three naturally occurring isotopes, Uranium-238 ( about 99.2739–99.2752% natural abundance), uranium-235 (about 0.7198–0.7202%), and uranium-234 (about 0.0050–0.0059%).
5. All Uranium atoms have different half lives
Uranium atoms has varying half lives and this indicates how stable an uranium atom could be
All isotopes of uranium are radioactive (both naturally occurring and artificial), and some have very long half-lives.
Recall that Half-life of a radioactive element is the time taken for one half of the atoms to disintegrate or decay into another nuclear form.
Each uranium radionuclide has a specific half-life. The Half-lives vary from millionths of a second to billions of years.
For example the half-life of uranium-238 is close to 4.5 billion years, uranium-235 about 700 million years, and uranium-234 about 25 thousand years.
The longer the half life of a radioactive element the more stable the element will be.
The table summarizes the uranium isotopes and half lives.
|Relative abundance in nature
|Half a millisecond
|About 68.9 years
|About 1.6 x 105 years
|About 2.45 x 105 years
|About 7 x 108 years
|About 2342 x 107 years
|About 4.468 x 109 years
6. Uranium is Pyrophoric at room temperature
Uranium atoms at room temperature will ignite spontaneously provided the conditions are favourable
The ignition temperature for uranium atoms is a function of the geometry , size or specific area of the atoms.
7. ALL Uranium atoms have specific physical properties typical of a metal
Uranium has several specific properties typical of a metal thus;
- Uranium is a silvery-white coloured metal
- Uranium is paramagnetic
- Uranium is very dense and denser than most metals
- Uranium has a boiling point of 38180C and 11220C
- Uranium is radioactive
8. Not all Uranium isotopes undergo nuclear fission
Yes, atoms of Uranium especially uranium-235do undergo nuclear fission. Nuclear fission is the disintegration of the nucleus of a heavy metal into stable daughter nuclei with a release of energy and radiation.
235 92U + 10n –> 141 56Ba + 92 36Kr + 310n
Uranium-238 does not usually undergo nuclear fission instead it will absorb neutron during neutron bombardment and change to uranium 239.
238 92U + 10n –> 239 92U
I believe we have answered this question what is true about all uranium atoms’ and more importantly illustrated the radioactive nature of Uranium.
These statements above are true about all uranium atoms. Uranium is a very important element to us and we really need to understand the chemistry of the element.