Plutonium (Pu) – Periodic Table [Element Information & More]

plutonium element periodic table

Plutonium element (Pu) is in period 7 of a periodic table. Plutonium is in the f-block and it is classified as an actinide on the periodic table.

There is a lot more information related to plutonium which is mentioned in the Information Table given below.

So let’s dive right into it!

Table of contents

Plutonium Element (Information Table)

The important data related to plutonium element is given in the table below.

Appearance of plutoniumSilvery white appearance
Atomic number of plutonium94
Symbol of plutoniumPu
Atomic mass of plutonium (most stable isotope)244 u 
Protons, Neutrons & Electrons in plutoniumProtons: 94, Neutrons: 150, Electrons: 94
State of plutonium (at STP)Solid
Period number of plutonium in periodic table7
Block of plutonium in periodic tablef-block
Category of plutoniumInner transition metals
Bohr model or Electrons per shell or Electrons arrangement in plutonium2, 8, 18, 32, 24, 8, 2
Electron configuration of plutonium[Rn] 5f6 7s2
Orbital diagram of plutoniumorbital diagram of plutonium
Electronegativity of plutonium (on pauling scale)1.28
Atomic radius of plutonium (van der Waals radius)243 picometers
Density of plutonium19.82 g/cm3
1st ionization energy of plutonium6.06 eV
Main isotope of plutonium238Pu, 239Pu and 240Pu
Melting point of plutonium912 K or 639 °C or 1183 °F
Boiling point of plutonium3505 K or 3228 °C or 5842 °F
Crystal structure of plutoniumMonoclinic
Discovery of plutoniumBy Glenn T. Seaborg, Edwin McMillan, Joseph W. Kennedy and Arthur Wahl (between 1940-41)

Also see: Interactive Periodic Table (It has rotating bohr models as well as many other details of all the 118 elements in a single periodic table).

Plutonium element in Periodic table

The Plutonium element (Pu) has the atomic number 94 and is located in period 7. Plutonium is a metal and it is classified as an actinide group element.

Click on above elements in the periodic table to see their information.

Facts about plutonium

Here are a few interesting facts about the plutonium element.

  1. Glenn T. Seaborg, Edwin McMillan, Joseph W. Kennedy and Arthur Wahl discovered plutonium between the years 1940-41.
  2. Plutonium was named after the dwarf planet “Pluto”.
  3. There are around 20 isotopes of plutonium and all these isotopes of plutonium are radioactive.
  4. 244Pu is the longest lived isotope of plutonium and it has a half-life of 80.8 million years.
  5. Plutonium is naturally available from uranium ores, but this naturally available uranium is very less in quantity. So plutonium is also artificially prepared from Uranium-238.

Properties of plutonium

Here is a list of some physical properties and chemical properties of plutonium.

Physical properties of plutonium

  • Plutonium has a silvery-white appearance.
  • Plutonium is not a good conductor of heat and electricity.
  • Plutonium has a monoclinic crystal structure.
  • Liquid plutonium is more dense as compared to solid plutonium.
  • The melting point of plutonium is 912 K and its boiling point is 3505 K.

Chemical properties of plutonium

  • Plutonium is a harmful and radioactive element.
  • Plutonium can react with elements like carbon, nitrogen, silicon as well as halogens.
  • Plutonium reacts with atmospheric oxygen and it tarnishes easily. Due to this reaction, it forms a yellow oxide layer.
  • Plutonium has many oxidation states ranging from +2 to +8, but its most common oxidation states are +2, +3 and +4.

Uses of plutonium

Here are some uses of the plutonium element.

  • The isotope of plutonium (239Pu) is used in nuclear weapons, because this isotope can undergo a chain reaction.
  • 238Pu is used in radioisotope thermoelectric generators.

External resources:

  1. Plutonium – Nuclear Museum. (2014, June 5). Nuclear Museum.
  2. P. (n.d.). Plutonium | Pu (Element) – PubChem. Plutonium | Pu (Element) – PubChem.
  3. Possolo, et al. (2018, January 4). Interpreting and propagating the uncertainty of the standard atomic weights (IUPAC Technical Report). Pure and Applied Chemistry, 90(2), 395–424.
  4. Emsley, J. (2011). Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. United Kingdom: OUP Oxford.
  5. Haynes, W. M. (Ed.). (2014, June 4). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.
  6. Electronic structure of the elements. (2000, March). The European Physical Journal C, 15(1–4), 78–79.
  7. James A. M. & Lord M. P. (1992). Macmillan’s chemical and physical data. Macmillan.
  8. Backgrounder on Plutonium. (n.d.). NRC Web.
  9. It’s Elemental – The Element Plutonium. (n.d.). It’s Elemental – the Element Plutonium.
  10. S. (2022, October 11). Plutonium: Facts about the radioactive element.
  11. Manhattan Project: Science > Nuclear Physics > PLUTONIUM CHEMISTRY AND METALLURGY. (n.d.). Manhattan Project: Science > Nuclear Physics > PLUTONIUM CHEMISTRY AND METALLURGY.
  12. Physical, Nuclear, and Chemical Properties of Plutonium – Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. (n.d.). Physical, Nuclear, and Chemical Properties of Plutonium – Institute for Energy and Environmental Research.
  13. Bedford, et al. (1996, April 1). Recommended values of temperature on the International Temperature Scale of 1990 for a selected set of secondary reference points. Metrologia, 33(2), 133–154.
  14. Allred, A. (1961, June). Electronegativity values from thermochemical data. Journal of Inorganic and Nuclear Chemistry, 17(3–4), 215–221.

Jay is an educator and has helped more than 100,000 students in their studies by providing simple and easy explanations on different science-related topics. With a desire to make learning accessible for everyone, he founded Knords Learning, an online chemistry learning platform that provides students with easily understandable explanations.

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