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What will be the new atom formed during this alpha decay?

Alpha decay is one process that unstable atoms can use to become more stable. During alpha decay, an atom’s nucleus sheds two protons and two neutrons in a packet that scientists call an alpha particle. Since an atom loses two protons during alpha decay, it changes from one element to another.

Why does the polonium Po become lead Pb after a decay?

Polonium-211 is a very unstable isotope that will undergo alpha decay very quickly. The atomic mass is reduced by four from 211 to 207, and the atomic number is reduced by two from 84 to 82. The atom is therefore changed from polonium to lead.

How long does polonium-210 take to kill?

It decays into a new, stable metal: lead. Its physical half life is 140 days. This means that half its radioactivity dies away in this time. Its biological half life is 40 days , so it takes 40 days for biological processes to eliminate half of the Polonium-210 in the body.

How much polonium-210 does it take to kill one person?

Polonium is sold in tiny quantities. You’d have to order 15,000 units of the substance just to be able to poison one person. The best way to obtain Po-210 would be from a nuclear industrial process.

Where is polonium used?

Polonium is an alpha-emitter, and is used as an alpha-particle source in the form of a thin film on a stainless steel disc. These are used in antistatic devices and for research purposes. A single gram of polonium will reach a temperature of 500°C as a result of the alpha radiation emitted.

What are the properties of polonium?

Polonium is a radioactive, extremely rare semi-metal. It is reactive, silvery-gray, it dissolves in dilute acids, but it is only slightly soluble in alkalis. it is fairly volatile: about half of a sample of it will evaporate within 3 days (unless it is kept in a sealed container).

What happens if you touch polonium?

So long as polonium is kept out of the human body, it poses little danger because the alpha particles travel no more than a few centimeters and cannot pass through skin.