polonium


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polonium

 (Po) [pah-lo´ne-um]
a chemical element, atomic number 84, atomic weight 210. (See Appendix 6.)

po·lo·ni·um (Po),

(pō-lō'nē-ŭm),
A radioactive element, atomic no. 84, isolated from pitchblende; the longest-lived isotope is 209Po (half-life 102 years); 210Po is radium F (half-life 138.38 days), the only readily accessible isotope.
[L. fr. Polonia, Poland, native country of Mme. M.S. Curie who with her husband, P. Curie, discovered the substance]

polonium

A rare and highly radioactive chemical element (atomic number 84) discovered by Marie Curie, which has 33 distinct radioactive isotopes. It is an alpha particle emitter with a half-life of 138.4 days that decays directly to its stable daughter isotope, 206Pb, and has such a high energy of emission that it has been used to heat satellites and vehicles in outer space. 210Polonium is 250,000 times more toxic than hydrogen cyanide (HCN): the LD50 for an 80 kg person is 1µg of 210Po compared to 250 mg for HCN.

po·lo·ni·um

(Po) (pŏ-lō'nē-ŭm)
A radioactive element, atomic no. 84, isolated from pitchblende; the longest-lived isotope is 209Po (half-life 102 years); 210Po is radium F (half-life 138.38 days), the only readily accessible isotope.
[L. fr. Polonia, Poland, native country of Mme. Marie S. Curie who with her husband, Pierre Curie, discovered the substance]
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References in periodicals archive ?
Polonium has few applications, and those are related to its radioactivity: heaters in space probes; antistatic devices; and sources of neutrons and alpha particles.
"Measurements of Polonium 210 and other radioactive substances taken from biological samples of the body are consistent with a natural environmental origin."
He later told The Associated Press that the Russian investigators did find elevated levels of polonium, but declined to answer further questions.
However, an indicator that the polonium may be synthetic is if there was far less Pb-210 (lead-210) in the samples.
"The (test) results proved Arafat was poisoned by polonium, and this substance is owned by states, not people, meaning that the crime was committed by a state," said Wasel Abu Yusef of the PLO's executive committee.
Polonium can be a byproduct of the chemical processing of uranium, but usually is made artificially in a nuclear reactor or a particle accelerator.
RAMALLAH, Palestine: Swiss scientists have concluded Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is likely to have died from polonium poisoning, according to a text of their findings published by Al-Jazeera television Wednesday.
Swiss scientists conducting tests into the death of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat have concluded that it is likely that he died from polonium poisoning , according to a text of their findings published by Al Jazeera television Wednesday.
Des medecins suisses ont evoque, hier, la presence de polonium radioactif dans les affaires personnelles de l'ancien president de l'Autorite palestinienne, Yasser Arafat, decede en 2004.
Arafat died at a French military hospital near Paris in November 2004, with experts unable to say what killed him, although many Palestinians believe he was poisoned by Israel.Forensic experts yesterday took samples from his remains to examine them for traces of polonium after an investigation earlier this year found abnormal quantities of the radioactive substance on his personal effects.
French magistrates opened a murder inquiry in August into Arafat's death in Paris after a Swiss institute said it had discovered high levels of radioactive polonium on his clothing, which was supplied by his widow, Suha.
Summary: Yasser Arafat's body has been exhumed and is being tested for Polonium.