Polonium is highly radioactive. Thus, 1 g of this metal heats up rapidly to 500 °C due to the radiation it emits. This element was discovered by Marie and Pierre Curie in 1898. Marie named it after her homeland, Poland. It is rare in nature, and is normally produced in nuclear reactors. Despite its radioactivity, this element has several applications. It can trigger the explosion of atomic bombs. It serves as fuel and for heating spacecraft.

Summary of properties (Po)

Atomic weight[209]
Discoverer (year)Curie, Marie & Pierre (1898)
Natural formmetallic solid (simple cubic)
Electron configuration[Xe] 414 5d10 6s2 6p4
Melting point (ºC)254
Boiling point (ºC)962
Abundance in earth's crust (ppm)<0.001
Isotope (abundance)
Density g/cm39.3
Van der Waals radius (pm)197
Covalent radius (pm)142
Electronegativity (Pauling)2
Vaporization enthalpy (kJ/mol)101.00
Enthalpy of fusion (kJ/mol)-
Specific heat capacity (J/g·K) at 25ºC and 1 atm-
Thermal conductivity (W/cm·K) at 25ºC and 1 atm0.200
Oxidation state+4, +2
Electron affinity (eV)1.90
1st Ionization potential (eV)8.4140

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