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How many protons does polonium have?

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Quick Answer

Polonium has 84 protons. It is a rare highly radioactive element with no stable isotopes. Polonium has few applications. It can be used in heaters in space probes, in antistatic devices and as a source of neutrons and alpha particles. Polonium naturally occurs in tobacco and some foods, particularly seafood.

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Full Answer

Polonium was discovered by Polish chemist Marie Curie and her husband, French chemist Pierre Curie, in 1898. Marie Curie obtained the polonium from pitchblende, a material that contains uranium. She noticed that pitchblende was more radioactive than plain uranium and realized it must contain one or more other radioactive elements. This also led to her discovery of radium, another radioactive element. Marie and Pierre Curie received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903.

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