Difference Between Radon and Radium (With Table)

Uranium is a radioactive element that exists in small amounts in nature, and its natural decay produces radium. This occurs naturally around the world and is harmless to humans at low concentrations, but when the concentration of radon increases, it can cause serious health problems.

This is the case because these particles get embedded in the lungs and stay there when people inhale them. They will continue to decay over time, and this radioactive decay can cause serious health problems for humans, especially lung cancer.

Radon vs Radium

The difference between Radon and Radium is that Radon is an inert gas, and radium is a radioactive substance. However, due to their large atomic number, both of these elements are radioactive. Furthermore, radon is radium’s intermediate decay product. The melting point and the boiling point of radon are very low are compared to radium, whereas the melting point and boiling point are very high in the case of Radium.

Radon is a radioactive gas that is produced when radium decays. It is a member of the uranium decay series, in which uranium decays into a number of different elements until it reaches the stable element lead. Radon decomposes into polonium and alpha particles when it decays. It features a face-centered cubic crystal structure as well. When radon is ingested, it decays into polonium, another radioactive element, potentially increasing the body’s radioactive load. This can lead to the development of malignant cells.

Radium is a metal that forms as a result of the breakdown of uranium and lead. It’s well recognized that it’s a highly radioactive substance. It was found in a uranium ore by Pierre and Marie Curie in 1898. The element was identified because it has the ability to shine. Marie Curie and a colleague created the metal in its pure form for the first time in 1911. The element’s name originates from the Latin word “ray,” which refers to its radioactivity.

Comparison Table Between Radon and Radium

Parameters of Comparison RadonRadium
Definition Radon is the noble gas with the chemical symbol Rn.Radium is a radioactive element with the chemical symbol Ra.
Block Elementp- block s-block
State of matter GasSolid
Atomic Number8688
ExistenceVery RareLess Rare than Radon

What is Radon?

Radon is a noble gas with the atomic number 86 and the chemical symbol Rn. It is a radioactive element because of its high atomic number, which causes it to be unstable. It’s a noble gas that’s colorless, odorless, and tasteless. This element naturally occurs in the intermediate stages of thorium and radioactive uranium decay. The intermediate decay product of radium is radon.

The most common and stable isotope of radon has an atomic mass of 222. This stable isotope, on the other hand, has a half-life of around 3.8 days. Radon is one of the rarest chemical elements on the planet due to its rapid disintegration. Radon is a p-zone element with a period of 6 and a group of 18. According to the octet rule, it has a complete electronic structure. Its melting point and boiling point are both negative, making it an important gas at ambient temperature and pressure.

There are no unpaired electrons in radon atoms. Therefore it is nonmagnetic. It is also the densest noble gas, as well as an inert gas. Because of the mutagenic properties of the radioactive gas, it has been hypothesized that it may have played a crucial role in evolution. More mutations in the local plant, animal, and microbial life may occur in areas with higher radon concentrations in rural rocks, leading to more mutations and thus more evolution among these groups.

What is Radium?

Radium is a radioactive chemical element with the atomic number 88 and the chemical symbol Ra. Because it belongs to group 2 of the periodic table, it is classified as an alkaline earth metal. It has a white color in its purest form. When exposed to air, it rapidly combines with nitrogen to create radium nitride, which is black in color. Ra-226 is the most stable isotope of radium. This isotope has a half-life of about 1600 years. Radium belongs to the periodic table’s group 2 and period 7. It’s an s-block component. It contains fully filled atomic orbitals, but not all of the electrons are required to follow the octet rule.

This element can exist in the solid form at normal temperatures and pressures. It features a cubic crystal structure that is centered on the body. It is non-magnetic because there are no unpaired electrons. Radium is the sole radioactive element in Periodic Table Group 2. This chemical element is volatile in its natural state. Its melting point and boiling point are both high.

The radioactivity of the element radium is shown by the fact that Marie Curie’s radium-studying notebooks are still too radioactive to be handled safely. Therefore, radium easily increases the risk of blood diseases such as cancer and anemia, vision problems such as cataracts, and dental problems. Miners, particularly uranium miners, are likely to be exposed to higher levels of radium. Radium levels are also greater in well water and the air around companies that use fossil fuels. Humans and other life forms are continually exposed to non-harmful quantities of radium radiation due to the element’s abundance in the Earth’s crust.

Main Differences Between Radon and Radium

  1. Radon is the noble gas with the chemical symbol Rn whereas Radium is a radioactive element with the chemical symbol Ra.
  2. At room temperature, radon is a solid, whereas radium is a gas.
  3. Radon is the element of p-block, whereas Radium is the element of s-block.
  4. Radium has an atomic number of 88, while radon has an atomic number of 86.
  5. Radon is very rare, whereas Radium is less rare than Radon.

Conclusion

Radon is a radioactive gas that can be found in the environment. It’s what happens when uranium decays into its stable daughter product, lead. It is radium’s direct daughter product. It is plentiful in the Earth’s crust, and its distribution is determined by local geology. It is a health risk and has been linked to lung cancer.

Radium is a metal that forms a part of the uranium-to-lead decay chain. Radium is so radioactive that it may shine, and it was once used to produce luminous paints, though this is no longer regarded safe. Radium is found throughout the Earth’s crust, but it is found in exceptionally high concentrations in places like uranium mines and fossil-fuel-powered factories.

Both radon and radium are radioactive decay products of uranium. They both cause cancer and have, strangely, been used to treat it. They are, however, distinct in that radon is a gas, whereas radium is a solid at normal temperature.

References

  1. https://aslopubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/lno.11678
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027277140700306X
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2D vs 3D