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Get this deep into your cranium, you do not touch Uranium!

GOAL: Meet Uranium (U). Learn about Radioactivity and Isotopes. 

 Meet Uranium (U), an atom from the Actinide family, belonging to the Transitions Metals (Group 3B).

Tom-the-Atom introduces to you, Mary, and Henry, the concept of Radioactivity (different from reactivity, which we learned in Book 7).  He calls in a heavy atom called Uranium or just U; from the Actinide family.  He has 92 electrons in his shells and 92 protons in his belly.  Because Uranium (U) has many neutrons and protons in the nucleus, the nuclei become unstable and can disintegrate.  It disintegrates by emitting very energetic particles (radioactive disintegration).  

The isotopes of an atom have the same number of electrons and protons but different numbers of neutrons. There are many Isotopes of Uranium, i.e., Uranium atoms with varying numbers of neutrons in their belly (giving different atomic weights). Atomic weights are determined by the total number of protons and neutrons.  Thus, isotopes are like twins; they look the same and have the same chemical properties, but they have slightly different weights. 


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