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Uranium

What the name means: Uranium was named after the planet Uranus that had been first observed in 1781. Uranus, in turn, was named after Ouranos, the Greek god of the sky and father of Titan.

Uranium

Uranium atom

Uranium atom

 

 

Uranium is a radio active atom. It occurs naturally in a few ores, such as pitchblende and uraninite

RA

 

Who identified uranium?: Pitchblende has been used for its yellow colour since Roman times. It has been detected in the paint used on the walls of a Roman villa near the Bay of Naples in Italy. From the Middle Ages, pitchblende was the "secret" ingredient that coloured glassware yellow-green colour.

The element uranium was identified by the German chemist, Martin Heinrich Klaproth, in Berlin in 1789. He was analysing an ore called pitchblende (mostly composed of uranium dioxide). Uranium metal was isolated by a French chemist, Eugène-Mechior Péligot in 1841.

 

Properties

UPROPS

STP = standard temperature and pressure.
Usually considered as room temperature and pressure.

 

About uranium: It was not until 1896 that the French physicist, Henry Becquerel, discovered that uranium was radio-active. He found out by accident. He had left a sample of pitchblende on a photographic plate and noticed that the ore had fogged the plate, as exposing it to poor light would have done. He concluded that the ore must be emitting some kind of ray. It was not until 1902 that the concept of radio-active decay started to be understood.

Uranium is a silvery metal that is used as a fuel in nuclear reactors.

 

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