Radiometric dating uranium lead

29-Jun-2017 11:59

Uranium is a chemical element with symbol U and atomic number 92.It is a silvery-white metal in the actinide series of the periodic table.The most common isotopes in natural uranium are uranium-238 (which has 146 neutrons and accounts for over 99%) and uranium-235 (which has 143 neutrons).Uranium has the highest atomic weight of the primordially occurring elements.

It has a Mohs hardness of 6, sufficient to scratch glass and approximately equal to that of titanium, rhodium, manganese and niobium.

On bombardment with slow neutrons, its uranium-235 isotope will most of the time divide into two smaller nuclei, releasing nuclear binding energy and more neutrons.

If too many of these neutrons are absorbed by other uranium-235 nuclei, a nuclear chain reaction occurs that results in a burst of heat or (in special circumstances) an explosion.

Uranium-235 is the only naturally occurring fissile isotope, which makes it widely used in nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons.

However, because of the tiny amounts found in nature, uranium needs to undergo enrichment so that enough uranium-235 is present.

Uranium-238 has a small probability for spontaneous fission or even induced fission with fast neutrons; uranium-235 and to a lesser degree uranium-233 have a much higher fission cross-section for slow neutrons.

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