Plutonium story The first nuclear synthesis and identification (i.e., the discovery) of the synthetic transuranium element plutonium (isotope /sup 238/Pu) and the demonstration of its fissionability with slow neutrons (isotope /sup 239/Pu) took place at the University of California, Berkeley, through the use of the 60-inch and 37-inch cyclotrons, in late 1940 and early 1941. This led to the development of industrial scale methods in secret work centered at the University of Chicago's Metallurgical Laboratory and the application of these methods to industrial scale production, at manufacturing plants in Tennessee and Washington, during the World War II years 1942 to 1945. The chemical properties of plutonium, needed to devise the procedures for its industrial scale production, were studied by tracer and ultramicrochemical methods during this period on an extraordinarily urgent basis. This work, and subsequent investigations on a worldwide basis, have made the properties of plutonium very well known. Its well studied electronic structure and chemical properties give it a very interesting position in the actinide series of inner transition elements.
Enter terms in the toolbar above to search the full text of this document for pages containing specific keywords.