The element plutonium is named after Pluto. There is hardly any plutonium in nature: most of it has decayed into other elements over time. It was discovered during the development of nuclear bombs in World War II. Today, plutonium is mainly used as a nuclear fuel.

Summary of properties (Pu)

Atomic weight[244]
Discoverer (year)Seaborg, Glenn T. (1940)
Natural formmetallic solid (monoclinic)
Electron configuration[Rn] 56 7s2
Melting point (ºC)640
Boiling point (ºC)3235
Abundance in earth's crust (ppm)synthetic
Isotope (abundance)
Density g/cm313.67
Van der Waals radius (pm)243
Covalent radius (pm)180
Electronegativity (Pauling)1.28
Vaporization enthalpy (kJ/mol)344.00
Enthalpy of fusion (kJ/mol)2.82
Specific heat capacity (J/g·K) at 25ºC and 1 atm-
Thermal conductivity (W/cm·K) at 25ºC and 1 atm0.070
Oxidation state+6, +5, +4, +3
Electron affinity (eV)
1st Ionization potential (eV)6.0260

Back to the Periodic Table of the Elements.