Making heavy elements


by esmeralda4
Tags: elements, heavy
esmeralda4
esmeralda4 is offline
#1
Oct3-13, 03:05 AM
P: 50
Hi there,

I understood that heavy elements could only be formed in stars or supernovae explosions. However I have just read that plutonium can be made by firing deuterons at uranium. Now uranium is a smaller atom than plutonium so what it going on?

It seems to me that heavy elements can be made in other ways than relying on stars? Can plutonium be made naturally this way?

Thanks!!!
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on Phys.org
Physicists design quantum switches which can be activated by single photons
'Dressed' laser aimed at clouds may be key to inducing rain, lightning
Higher-order nonlinear optical processes observed using the SACLA X-ray free-electron laser
Drakkith
Drakkith is offline
#2
Oct3-13, 03:10 AM
PF Gold
Drakkith's Avatar
P: 11,030
Sure, we can make heavy elements. When we say that heavy elements are made only in stars/supernovas, we mean that nature only makes an appreciable amount of heavy elements in stars and supernovas. MUCH more than 99% of all heavy elements are made this way.
meBigGuy
meBigGuy is offline
#3
Oct3-13, 03:32 AM
P: 962
naturally? As in "unassisted in nature"? Don't think so. It can be done with 16 M-ev deuterons.

The wikipedia page on Plutonium describes the reaction in the Isotopes and synthesis section. Basically add a neutron which beta decays into a proton and voila, another element.

Crazymechanic
Crazymechanic is offline
#4
Oct3-13, 03:55 AM
P: 853

Making heavy elements


Not that we cannot make something rather that we are extremely limit by the amount that we can make due to our limited energy , technological and other means.

We can make antimatter too , the thing is , the quantity is next to nothing , well I believe the plutonium production is way easier.
SteamKing
SteamKing is offline
#5
Oct3-13, 04:06 AM
HW Helper
Thanks
P: 5,542
Quote Quote by esmeralda4 View Post
Hi there,

I understood that heavy elements could only be formed in stars or supernovae explosions. However I have just read that plutonium can be made by firing deuterons at uranium. Now uranium is a smaller atom than plutonium so what it going on?

It seems to me that heavy elements can be made in other ways than relying on stars? Can plutonium be made naturally this way?

Thanks!!!
Hello! You might have heard of a little thing called the atomic bomb? It was pretty big in the TwenCen. Used lots and lots of plute. Made in these thingies called nuclear reactors. I mean this whole atomic energy thing, fission, fusion, neutrons, whatever! I mean like this stuff is still around, ya know?


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Supernovae and heavy elements General Astronomy 2
Heavy elements from red giants Astrophysics 7
Heavy Elements in the Sun General Astronomy 8
About heavy elements of the solar system Astrophysics 0
creation of heavy elements: r and s process Astrophysics 3