What is the electron configuration of plutonium?


Plutonium is a transuranic radioactive chemical element. The chemical symbol for plutonium is Pu and the atomic number is 94. The electron configuration of plutonium is 7s squared and 5f to the 6th power.

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transuranic radioactive chemical element
chemical symbol

A chemical symbol is a 1-, 2-, or 3-letter internationally agreed code for a chemical element, usually derived from the name of the element, often in Latin.

Only the first letter is capitalised. For example, "He" is the symbol for helium (English name, not known in ancient Roman times), "Pb" for lead (plumbum in Latin), "W" for tungsten (wolfram in German, not known in Roman times). Temporary symbols assigned to newly or not-yet synthesized elements use 3-letter symbols based on their atomic numbers. For example, "Uno" was the temporary symbol for hassium which had the temporary name of unniloctium and "Uuo" is the symbol for ununoctium (temporary name) with the atomic mass 118.

Nuclear materials

Nuclear material refers to the metals uranium, plutonium, and thorium, in any form, according to the IAEA. This is differentiated further into "source material", consisting of natural and depleted uranium, and "special fissionable material", consisting of enriched uranium (U-235), uranium-233, and plutonium-239. Uranium ore concentrates are considered to be a "source material", although these are not subject to safeguards under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Different countries may use different terminology: in the United States of America, "nuclear material" most commonly refers to "special nuclear materials" (SNM), with the potential to be made into nuclear weapons as defined in the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. The "special nuclear materials" are also plutonium-239, uranium-233, and enriched uranium (U-235).

Chemical elements

A chemical element is a pure chemical substance consisting of one type of atom distinguished by its atomic number, which is the number of protons in its nucleus. Elements are divided into metals, metalloids, and non-metals. Familiar examples of elements include carbon, oxygen (non-metals), silicon, arsenic (metalloids), aluminium, iron, copper, gold, mercury, and lead (metals).

The lightest chemical elements, including hydrogen, helium (and smaller amounts of lithium, beryllium and boron), are thought to have been produced by various cosmic processes during the Big Bang and cosmic-ray spallation. Production of heavier elements, from carbon to the very heaviest elements, proceeded by stellar nucleosynthesis, and these were made available for later solar system and planetary formation by planetary nebulae and supernovae, which blast these elements into space. The high abundance of oxygen, silicon, and iron on Earth reflects their common production in such stars, after the lighter gaseous elements and their compounds have been subtracted. While most elements are generally viewed as stable, a small amount of natural transformation of one element to another also occurs at the present time through decay of radioactive elements as well as other natural nuclear processes.

Synthetic elements

In chemistry, a synthetic element is a chemical element that does not occur naturally on Earth, and can only be created artificially. So far, 20 synthetic elements have been created (those with atomic numbers 99–118). All are unstable, decaying with half-lives ranging from a year to a few milliseconds.

Nine other elements were first created artificially and thus considered synthetic, but later discovered to exist naturally (in trace quantities) as well; among them plutonium—first synthesized in 1940—the one best known to laypeople, because of its use in atomic bombs and nuclear reactors.

Carcinogens Plutonium
Electron configuration

In atomic physics and quantum chemistry, the electron configuration is the distribution of electrons of an atom or molecule (or other physical structure) in atomic or molecular orbitals. For example, the electron configuration of the neon atom is 1s2 2s2 2p6.

Electronic configurations describe electrons as each moving independently in an orbital, in an average field created by all other orbitals. Mathematically, configurations are described by Slater determinants or configuration state functions.

The transuranium elements (also known as transuranic elements) are the chemical elements with atomic numbers greater than 92 (the atomic number of uranium). All of these elements are unstable and decay radioactively into other elements.

Of the elements with atomic numbers 1 to 92, all can be found in nature, having stable (such as hydrogen), or very long half-life (such as uranium) isotopes, or are created as common products of the decay of uranium and thorium (such as radon).

Isotopes of plutonium

No fission products
have a half-life
in the range of
100–210k years…

...nor beyond 15.7M

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