Is Uranium Magnetic? 5 Facts You Should Know!

Uranium is the most stable radioactive element to generate thermal, nuclear, and electrical energy. In this article, we shall discuss the magnetic behaviour of uranium in detail.

Uranium is weakly magnetic and shows paramagnetic behaviour. Uranium is an energy transmission metal with electronic configuration [Rn] 5f3 6d1 7s2, having four unpaired electrons and two valence electrons in the outer shell. These free electrons are responsible for the magnetic behaviour of the uranium.

We shall further learn about the magnetic behaviour of pure and depleted uranium in detail. Also, we shall discuss the various properties of uranium responsible for the magnetic response of uranium, its magnetic moment, and the magnetization of uranium in detail with every little fact.

Is pure uranium magnetic?

The thermal decomposition of its halides forms pure uranium at high temperatures. Let us discuss whether pure uranium is magnetic or not.

Pure uranium is weakly magnetic as it forms a weak dipolar magnetic field. The magnetic dipoles align in the direction of the magnetic field, parallel to it, and intensify the paramagnetic behaviour of the uranium substance. The paramagnetic behaviour of uranium is mainly due to the presence of free electrons in an atom.

Is depleted uranium magnetic?

The depleted uranium consists of natural uranium and a very less quantity of fissile uranium isotope. Let us discuss whether depleted uranium also shows magnetic behaviour or not.

Depleted uranium is also magnetic and weakly paramagnetic. The depleted uranium can retain its magnetic behaviour even at a low temperature. Due to its magnetic behaviour, it is possible to separate different isotopes of uranium from depleted uranium in a magnetic field.

Uranium Magnetic Properties

Uranium’s magnetic properties that make it different from the other transition metal in the series. Here is a list of uranium’s magnetic properties:-

  • Uranium is malleable, ductile, and orthorhombic in structure.
  • Uranium has 4 to 6 valance electrons and is slightly paramagnetic.
  • Uranium has a hardness of 6 on Moh’s scale.
  • It is electropositive with an electric resistivity is 0.28 × 10-6 Ώ.m.
  • Thermal conductivity is 27.5 W/mK.
  • The magnetic susceptibility is 4.2K – 105K.
Image Credit: Uranium by Pumbaa80 (CC BY-SA 2.0 UK)

Uranium Magnetic Moments

The magnetic moment is responsible for the conduction of the magnetic field in the matter. Let us discuss the uranium magnetic moment in detail.

The magnetic moment of uranium is 3.54 – 3.90 mB. The magnetic moment of uranium is generated due to its free electrons that are free to move and spin, which contribute to the paramagnetic behaviour of uranium. It determines the orientation of electron spin and produces the magnetic field.

Can uranium be magnetized?

The magnetization of uranium depends upon the number of magnetic moments constituting it. Let us elaborately discuss whether uranium can be magnetized.

The uranium can be magnetized by placing it in a high magnetic field. Doping the uranium with other suitable magnetic material can increase the number density of the magnetic dipoles in the uranium matter.

Conclusion

We can conclude from this article that uranium is magnetic and shows weak paramagnetic behaviour. The magnetic properties of uranium are intensified by increasing the magnetic dipole density in the matter. Uranium is magnetic in pure and depleted form, and its magnetic susceptibility varies with temperature.

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