Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Chemical formula||uranum oxide , UO2|
|Colour||Black or brownish|
|Crystal habit||Massive, botryoidal , granular. Crystals uncommon.|
|Fracture||Conchoidal to uneven|
|Mohs Scale hardness||5 - 6|
|Streak||Same as colour, black or brownish|
|Specific gravity||7.5 - 10|
|Solubility||Soluble in sulfuric, nitric, and hydrofluoric acids.|
Uraninite is a uranium-rich mineral with a composition that is largely UO2 (uranium oxide), but which also contains UO3 and oxides of lead, thorium, and rare earths. It is most commonly known in the variety pitchblende. All uraninite minerals contain a small amount of radium as a radioactive decay product of uranium; it was in pitchblende from the Jáchymov in Czechoslovakia that Marie Curie discovered radium. Uraninite also always contains small amounts of the lead isotopes, Pb-206 and Pb-207, the end products of the decay series of the uranium isotopes U-238 and U-235 respectively. Small amounts of helium are also present in uraninite as a result of alpha decay. Helium was first discovered on Earth in uraninite after previously being discovered spectroscopically in the sun's atmosphere.
Uraninite is a major ore of uranium. An important occurrence of pitchblende is at Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada, where it is found in large quantities associated with silver. It also occurs in Germany, England, and South Africa, and in New Hampshire, Connecticut, North Carolina, Wyoming, and New Mexico in the United States.
- Dana's Manual of Mineralogy ISBN 0471032883
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details