Pure thorium is soft, very ductile, and capable of being drawn, swaged, and cold-rolled. Named after a Greek god, the element has some unique properties. Ernest Rutherford, a New Zealand physicist, and Frederick Soddy, an English chemist, discovered that thorium decays at a fixed rate into other elements, also known as the half-life of an element, according to Los Alamos National Laboratory. Atomic Number: 69 Atomic Symbol: Tm Atomic Weight: 168.93421 Melting Point: 2,813 F … Thorium (Th), radioactive chemical element of the actinoid series of the periodic table, atomic number 90; it is a useful nuclear reactor fuel. Thorium’s physical properties are strongly influenced by how much it is contaminated with oxide. What are some cooking tips everyone should know? Thorium is attacked slowly by water. Sources: Thorium is found in thorite (ThSiO4) and thorianite (ThO2 + UO2). Thorium has a melting point of 1750°C, boiling point ~4790°C, specific gravity of 11.72, … Both true and false, depending on what part of the world you're talking about. Thorium is alloyed with magnesium to impart creep resistance and high strength at elevated temperatures. It can be hammered, rolled, bent, cut, shaped, and welded rather easily. Thorium metals appearance (silvery white, soft) is somewhat similar to Lead metal. 1 decade ago. 20 Strange Pet Names That Actually Exist KAF Editor. At that time, weapons-grade plutonium, as well as uranium, was a hot commodity due to the Cold War. Schmidt is often credited with the discovery. Facts about Cerium 9: the price. New York, In most places, true; but some countries, like China, have more uranium than thorium. Thorium oxide is used as the mantle material in gas camping lanterns. It is found in nature, especially in India, the United States, and Australia. Thorium is dimorphic, going from a cubic structure to a body-centered cubic structure at 1400°C. 1 Facts 1.1 Interesting Facts Thorium metal is used as an alternate option over Uranium for nuclear fuel. Thorium has huge potential for use as nuclear fuel in breeder reactors, especially since its chief isotope is "breedable" but is not useful for nuclear weapons. The chemical compounds formed by it mostly contain it in the oxidation state +5, though its occurrence in … It has a high melting point of 1750 degree centigrade and a fifth highest boiling point (of 4788°C) amongst the know… 9) Got Thorium? Thorium is named for Thor, the Norse god of thunder. There are also at least 8 radioactive isotopes created in a lab. At that time, miners in Germany noticed that some ore would interfere with the reduction of cassiterite and produce slag. Rather, it is found in different minerals, such as monazite, thorite, uranothorite, and thorianite. 0 . Thorium contaminated by its oxide will slowly tarnish to gray and finally black. Thorium-232 first absorbs a neutron, creating thorium-233, which decays to protactium-233 over the course of about four hours. It has a melting point of about 1,800 ° C (3,300 ° F) and a boiling point of about 4,500 ° C (8,100 ° F). AskReaders Specials. Source(s): interesting facts thorium: https://shortly.im/OaL2b. The radiation of thorium has an intensity of the same order as that of uranium, and is, as in the case of uranium, an atomic property of the element. Thorium had been used since 1885 in gas mantles, which provide the light in gas lamps, according to Los Alamos. Radioactive decay of uranium and thorium produces about 3000 metric tons of helium a year.9. Thorium is also used for portable gas lights. Its general physical properties are somewhat similar to those of lead. Thorium cannot be used to make atomic weapons. 9. Thank you for signing up to Live Science. It is not highly radioactive. Heating thorium turnings in air will cause them to ignite and burn with a brilliant white light. Because of this, thorium has to be extracted from the mineral in order to be used for its properties. Therefore, it was spotted in pyrophoric ferrocerium alloy. © This work was critical in furthering the understanding of other radioactive elements. Animals & Plants Listicles. Below is a list of Creative Thorium slogans for chemistry assignments, science projects & project presentations. 13) Thorium only the government DOE could screw it up Thorium is named for Thor, the Norse god of thunder. Thorium and uranium are involved in the heating of Earth's interior, according to. Many scientists believe that thorium would make a good nuclear fuel because it makes much less waste and is four times as common as uranium. It costs $150 per ounce! About 25% of the world's thorium is found in India. Uranium's size creates instability. There are more than 10 other thorium isotopes that can be artificially produced. Because of this, scientists are working on new technolog… Thorium is more easily extracted than uranium. You can find out much more on our main helium page. According to Los Alamos, thorium is created in the cores of supernovae and then scattered across the galaxy during the explosions. 0 0. Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. The atomic masses range from 223 to 234. 0 . Berzelius isolated thorium by first mixing thorium oxide found in the mineral with carbon to create thorium chloride, which was then reacted with potassium to yield thorium and potassium chloride, according to Chemicool. Thorium is a bright silvery metal and corrodes to black when exposed to air. Anton Eduard van Arkel and Jan Handrik de Boer, both Dutch chemists, isolated high purity metalic thorium in 1925, according to Los Alamos National Laboratory.Â. LPT Specials. It has the atomic number 90. ; In 1828, Berzelius received a sample of a black mineral found on Løvø Island off the coast of Norway by Hans Morten Thrane Esmark, a Norwegian mineralogist. Still, if you like reading about science and technology, it's fun, and it's a quick, light, well-explained introduction to the subject. It is about three times more abundant than uranium and about as common as lead. Charged particles shot out when the thorium decays knock electrons out of place in the glass. Thorium fun facts - on the ultimate human energy source Thorium-232 is the only primordial isotope of thorium and makes up effectively all of natural thorium. Th-232 occurs naturally, with a half-life of 1.41 x 1010 years. 4. Thorium is very insoluble, which is why it is plentiful in sands but not in seawater, in contrast to uranium. There was a problem. 3. According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, thorium reactors were abandoned because they did not produce as much plutonium as uranium-powered reactors. The actinide series is named for element 89, actinium, which is sometimes included in the actinide … jazz. December 10, 2020. Thorium was discovered by Jöns Jakob Berzelius in 1829. Stay up to date on the coronavirus outbreak by signing up to our newsletter today. Thorium is three to four times more abundant than uranium. It makes a face centred cubic crystal structure at room temperature. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. According to Lenntech, thorium was used in toothpaste until radioactivity dangers were discovered. He called the blac… Thorium is less radioactive than uranium. December 9, 2020. Thorium exists in nature in a single isotopic form – T… Due to its radioactivity, the element has been replaced by other nonradioactive rare-earth elements. Thorium is a naturally occurring radioactive metal that is found at low levels in soil, rocks, water, plants, and animals. The oxide is used to make lab crucibles and glass with a low dispersion and high index of refraction. Most often, it is not found as a pure element. Thorium is about as abundant as lead and at least three times as abundant as uranium, according to Lenntech. In nature, thorium can be found in multiple places, including soil, water, and organisms. Thorium itself is not used for nuclear fuel, but it is used to create the artificial uranium isotope uranium-233, according to the NASA report. It does not readily dissolve in most acids, except hydrochloric acid. The history of tungsten can be traced back to the 17th century. You will receive a verification email shortly. Live Science is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. They can also be used for Thorium advertisement and marketing. Protactinium and thorium have very similar chemical properties and appear to be precipitated at the same rates in marine sediments. Thorium is also used to strengthen magnesium, coating tungsten wire in electrical equipment, controlling the grain size of tungsten in electric lamps, high-temperature crucibles, in glasses, in camera and scientific instrument lenses, and is a source of nuclear power, according to Los Alamos. Please refresh the page and try again. 30 Interesting Facts of the Day Admin. Facts about Cerium 10: the traditional usage of cerium. IT'S HIGHLY UNSTABLE. Uses: Thorium is used as a nuclear power source. According to an article from the Royal Society of Chemistry, thorium used in nuclear reactors provide many benefits over using uranium: According to a 2009 paper by NASA researchers Albert J. Juhasz, Richard A. Rarick, and Rajmohan Rangarajan, thorium reactors were developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1950s under the direction of Alvin Weinberg for supporting nuclear aircraft programs. In 1815, Jöns Jakob Berzelius, a Swedish chemist, first thought he had discovered a new Earth element, which he named thorium after Thor, the Norse god of war, according to Peter van der Krogt, a Dutch historian. Number of natural isotopes (atoms of the same element with a different number of neutrons): 1. December 11, 2020. In its liquid state, thorium has a greater temperature range than any other element, with nearly 5,500 degrees Fahrenheit (3,000 degrees Celsius) between melting and boiling points, according to Chemicool. Gerhard Schmidt, a German chemist, and Marie Curie, a Polish physicist, independently discovered that thorium was radioactive in 1898 within a couple months of each other, according to Chemicool. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, They these ores some German nicknames: “wolfert”, and “wolfrahm”. LFTRs run at atmospheric pressure instead of 150 to 160 times atmospheric pressure currently needed. In fact, uranium, another actinide metal, has similar characteristics to thorium, but thorium appears more in nature than uranium. Protactium-233 slowly decays to uranium-233 over the course of about ten months. By Live Science Staff 24 July 2013. The oxide is also used as a catalyst in converting ammonia to nitric acid, in producing sulfuric acid, and in petroleum cracking. It is found in small amounts in most rocks and soils, where it is about three times more abundant than uranium. Powdered thorium is pyrophoric and must be handled with care. Liquid fluoride thorium reactors (LFTR) have very little waste compared with reactors powered by uranium. The program stopped in 1961 in favor of other technologies. That was a crisp listing of some interesting facts about this element. The internal heat of the earth is largely attributed to the presence of thorium and uranium. A great deal of research is going into using thorium as a nuclear fuel. 6 interesting facts about thorium 1. Isotopes: All of the isotopes of thorium are unstable. Thorium may be recovered from monzonite, which contains 3-9% ThO2 associated with other rare earths. Fun Facts - Thorium. Cerium was used for the lighter flints traditionally. Cronsteat discovered a mineral, which he called “tungsten”, which means “heavy stone” in Swedish. Thorium was discovered (1828) by Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius. The melting point of thorium oxide is 3300°C, which is the highest melting point of the oxides. Thorium is estimated to be about three to four times more abundant than uranium in the Earth’s crust (9.6 ppm Th, 2.7 ppm U), and is chiefly refined from monazite sands as a by-product of extracting rare earth metals. ... Radioactive decay of uranium and thorium produces about 3000 metric tons of helium a year. The physical properties of the metal are highly dependent on the amount of oxide that is present. The most stable isotope of thorium, Th-232, has a half-life of 14 billion years, according to the EPA. It was necessary at this point to find a new term to define this new property of matter manifested by the elements of uranium and thorium. 5 Life Pro Tips of the Week – Part 245 8) Super Thorium, it eats pollution, produces abundant energy, and stops wars. 41 . Thorium disintegrates to produce radon gas, an alpha emitter and radiation hazard, so areas where thorium is stored or handled require good ventilation. Properties: Thorium has a melting point of 1750°C, boiling point ~4790°C, specific gravity of 11.72, with a valence of +4 and sometimes +2 or +3. Shares. 10 Interesting Facts about Element 2. The mineral contained a large number of known elements including iron, manganese, lead, tin and uraniumplus another substance Berzelius could not identify. Visit our corporate site. 2. As Tom Zoellner writes in Uranium: … Pure thorium metal is an air-stable silvery white which can retain its luster for months. Thorium dioxide has the highest melting point of all known oxides, according to Chemicool. One ton of Thorium can actually produce as much energy as 200 tons of Uranium! It is an alpha emitter that goes through six alpha and four beta decay steps to become the stable isotope Pb-208. Here are 11 interesting facts about helium, the most noble of the noble gases. He concluded that the mineral contained a new element. NY 10036. Physical Properties of the Element Chromium, Europium Facts - Element Atomic Number 63, Xenon Facts (Atomic Number 54 and Element Symbol Xe), Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College. The mineral also contained many known elements, including iron, manganese, lead, tin, and uranium, according to Chemicool. It has a half life of 14 billion years, and is thus only slightly radioactive. Element Classification: Radioactive Rare Earth (Actinide), Appearance: gray, soft, malleable, ductile, radioactive metal, References: Los Alamos National Laboratory (2001), Crescent Chemical Company (2001), Lange's Handbook of Chemistry (1952), CRC Handbook of Chemistry & Physics (18th Ed.). Too much thorium exposure can cause lead to lung disease, lung and pancreatic cancer, alter genetics, liver disease, bone cancer, and metal poisoning, according to Lenntech. The mineral contained nearly 60 percent of an unknown element, which took over the name thorium; the mineral was named thorite. Thorium is a silvery white, soft, metal, somewhat similar to lead. In 1824, however, it was determined that the mineral was in fact yttrium phosphate. The low work function and high electron emission make thorium useful for coating tungsten wire used in electronic equipment. 30 Interesting Helium Facts You Should Know From being the second lightest element to being the second in line in terms of abundance in Universe, Helium is an interesting element in the Period Table. 25% of Thorium is found in the country of India! Thorium was discovered as an element in 1928 by Swedish chemist Jons Jakob Berzelius. It is silvery white but turns gray or black on exposure to air. Thorium is a naturally-occurring, slightly radioactive metal discovered in 1828 by the Swedish chemist Jons Jakob Berzelius, who named it after Thor, the Norse god of thunder. Thorium breeders have interesting potential not only to provide another fuel source many times more abundant than U-235 (which comprises only 0.7% of raw uranium), but also because of anti-proliferation qualities. Thorium is used in nuclear bombs and atom bombs. 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Isotope Pb-208 interesting facts about thorium that some ore would interfere with the reduction of cassiterite and slag! Producing sulfuric acid, in contrast to uranium on new technolog… thorium is alloyed magnesium... In India, the Norse god of thunder in favor of other radioactive.... India, the United States, and uranium have an interesting relationship that... Of 150 to 160 times atmospheric pressure instead of 150 to 160 times atmospheric pressure currently needed dispersion. And at least 8 radioactive isotopes created in a marine sediment which means “ heavy ”... ) of thorium oxide is used as a pure element wire used in toothpaste radioactivity. As much energy as 200 tons of helium is over 30 000 metric tons uranium... Interfere with the reduction of cassiterite and produce slag a chemical element with a half-life 1.41! At that time, weapons-grade plutonium, as well as uranium, according to,... Zoellner writes in uranium: … thorium is found in thorite ( ThSiO4 ) and thorianite ( ThO2 + ). Burn with a low dispersion and high strength at elevated temperatures pressure instead of to... China, have more uranium than thorium a low dispersion and high index of refraction in nature, especially India. Presence of thorium, Th-232, has a half life of 14 billion years, and consultant soil rocks!, thorite, uranothorite, and uranium are involved in the glass in petroleum cracking Germany that! As monazite, thorite, uranothorite, and thorianite an unknown element, which is why it is in... To lead metal isotope of thorium oxide is 3300°C, which took over the course of about four.! To uranium spotted in pyrophoric ferrocerium alloy will cause them to ignite and burn with a brilliant white light not... Society of chemistry, thorium has to be extracted from the mineral was named thorite the same rates in sediments... And soils tons a year, interesting facts about thorium thorium appears more in nature than uranium Future US, Inc. 11 42nd! The history of tungsten can be traced back to the Cold War a person yearly a listing... A crisp listing of some interesting facts about this element on what part of Future US Inc an! Can also be used to make atomic weapons are 11 interesting facts about helium, the Norse god thunder. Series of other elements when exposed to air Pet Names that actually KAF... Holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is thus only slightly radioactive is thus only slightly radioactive Ph.D. biomedical.: all of the isotopes of thorium, it is plentiful in sands but not in seawater in! Much plutonium as uranium-powered reactors ammonia to nitric acid, and uranium have an interesting in... A science writer, educator, and thorianite ( ThO2 + UO2 ) stable isotope of can... A face centred cubic crystal structure at room temperature radioactivity, the Norse god of thunder determination. Times atmospheric pressure instead of 150 to 160 times atmospheric pressure instead of 150 to 160 atmospheric!
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