What is the difference between uranium and plutonium?



  1. 0 Votes

    To be really technical, the difference is 2 protons (Uranium is an element with 92 protons, while Plutonium is an element with 94 protons). Uranium is a natural element, while plutonium is actually created through “deuteron bombardment of uranium”. Translation: uranium is used to make plutonium, although some plutonium exists naturally in uranium deposits.

    The half lives of plutonium’s isotopes are also generally shorter than uranium’s. “Half-life” is pretty much what it sounds like: how long it takes a certain element to decay (meaning its atoms just naturally start to fall apart) into one half of what it was. So if I have 30 kg of plutonium, its half-life will be how long it takes for it to decay to 15 kg of plutonium. This difference in half-life does affect the usefulness of each element and their properties.

    The link below has some information about the production of plutonium from uranium.

  2. 0 Votes

    Uranium has an atomic number of 94, which means it has 94 protons. Plutonium has an atomic number of 92. Both plutonium and uranium are used for nuclear power and nuclear weapons, but uranium is additionally used to determine half lifes of igneous rocks, strengthen steel, and for x-rays. More information is provided in the citations below.

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