Standard Atomic Weight
After “Poland” native
country of Curie
Post Transition Metal
[Xe] 6s2 4f14 5d10 6p4
Polonium is a rare, silvery-gray, radioactive lowmelting metalloid.
Polonium readily reacts with dilute acids, but
only slightly with alkalis.
All of its isotopes are radioactive.
210Po emits a blue glow, as the air around it is
excited by the decay products.
No. of Protons (p+)
No. of Electrons (e-)
No. of Neutrons (n0)
Polonium was the first
element Marie and Pierre
Curie discovered in 1898.
First isolation of Polonium was
performed by Willy Marckwald in
Heat of Fusion
527 K, 489 °F 254 °C
1764 °F 962 °C, 1235 K
ca. 13 kJ·mol−1
Heat of Vaporization 102.91 kJ·mol−1
Molar Heat Capacity 26.4 J·mol−1·K−1
at T (K)
Neutron Cross Section
188Po, 189Po, 190Po,
218Po, 219Po, 220Po
Abundance earth’s crust: Of the order of 1
part per quadrillion.
Abundance solar system: negligible
Source: It is found in uranium ores in minute
Isotopes: Polonium has 29 isotopes whose
half-lives are known, with mass numbers 190
to 218. None are stable. The most stable
isotope is 209Po, with a half-life of 102 years.
It can be obtained by bombarding natural
bismuth, 209Bi , with neutrons to give 210Bi,
which then decays to 210Po via β decay.
The final purification is done pyrochemically
followed by liquid-liquid extraction
It has been found that the longer-lived
isotopes of polonium can be formed by proton
bombardment of bismuth using a cyclotron.
It is used to eliminate static electricity
produced during processes such as rolling
paper, wire and sheet metal.
210Po can be used as an atomic heat source.
Polonium is also used in anti-static brushes to
eliminate dust on photographic film.
Polonium is harmful both through its chemical
toxicity and its radioactivity.
Polonium-210 is an alpha emitter. As such it is
very hazardous if swallowed or inhaled.
Exposure to polonium increases the risk of
getting various cancers.
A person poisoned