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polonium

[puh-loh-nee-uh m] /pəˈloʊ ni əm/
noun, Chemistry
1.
a radioactive element discovered by Pierre and Marie Curie in 1898; Symbol: Po; atomic number: 84; atomic weight: about 210.
Origin
1895-1900
1895-1900; < New Latin, equivalent to polon- (< Medieval Latin Polonia Poland) + -ium -ium
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for polonium
  • In her work, she established the nature of radiation and beta rays, and discovered and isolated polonium and radium.
  • Discovered that uranium emits radiation naturally, and isolated two new radioactive elements-polonium and radium.
  • polonium haloes have only ever been found along cracks in rock.
  • They studied the properties of uranium and thorium and soon discovered polonium.
  • polonium a radioactive chemical element and a product of radium decay.
  • Cobalt, iridium, and polonium generally exist as solid metals and would not be readily dispersible.
British Dictionary definitions for polonium

polonium

/pəˈləʊnɪəm/
noun
1.
a very rare radioactive element that occurs in trace amounts in uranium ores. The isotope polonium-210 is produced artificially and is used as a lightweight power source in satellites and to eliminate static electricity in certain industries. Symbol: Po; atomic no: 84; half-life of most stable isotope, 209Po: 103 years; valency: –2, 0, 2, 4, or 6; relative density (alpha modification): 9.32; melting pt: 254°C; boiling pt: 962°C
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, from Medieval Latin Polōnia Poland; named in honour of the Polish nationality of its discoverer, Marie Curie
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for polonium
n.

radioactive element, 1898, discovered by Marie Curie (nee Skłodowska), 1867-1934, and her husband, and named for her native country, Poland (Modern Latin Polonia). With element-name ending -ium.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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polonium in Medicine

polonium po·lo·ni·um (pə-lō'nē-əm)
n.
Symbol Po
A naturally radioactive metallic element, occurring in minute quantities in uranium ores; its most readily available isotope is Po 210, with a half-life of 138.39 days. Atomic number 84; melting point 254°C; boiling point 962°C; specific gravity 9.32; valence 2, 4.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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polonium in Science
polonium
  (pə-lō'nē-əm)   
Symbol Po
A very rare, naturally radioactive, silvery-gray or black metalloid element. It is produced in extremely small amounts by the radioactive decay of radium or the bombardment of bismuth or lead with neutrons. Atomic number 84; melting point 254°C; boiling point 962°C; specific gravity 9.32; valence 2, 4. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for polonium

a radioactive, silvery-gray or black metallic element of the oxygen family (Group VIa in the periodic table). The first element to be discovered by radiochemical analysis, polonium was discovered in 1898 by Pierre and Marie Curie, who were investigating the radioactivity of a certain pitchblende, a uranium ore. Polonium is a very rare element (its abundance in the Earth's crust is about one part in 1015) that occurs in nature as a radioactive decay product of uranium, thorium, and actinium. The half-lives of its isotopes range from a fraction of a second up to 103 years; the most common natural isotope of polonium, polonium-210, has a half-life of 138.4 days.

Learn more about polonium with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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