transuranium element


transuranium element

Any of the chemical elements after uranium in the periodic table (with atomic numbers greater than 92). All are radioactive (see radioactivity), with half-lives ranging from tens of millions of years to fractions of a millisecond. Only two, neptunium (93) and plutonium (94), occur in nature, and only as traces in uranium ores as a result of neutron irradiation. Transuranium elements with atomic numbers through 116, along with 118, have been produced in laboratories. Each appears to resemble the elements above it in the periodic table; in particular, the actinides, thorium (90) through lawrencium (103), are similar to the lanthanides, cerium (58) through lutetium (71). The naming of the transuranium elements has been fraught with controversy regarding which laboratory first made the discovery and should propose the name and whether elements should be named for living persons. See also Glenn Seaborg.

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