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Polonium is element 84 on the Periodic Table. It is so toxic and radioactive that exposure to very small amounts can be fatal.
Its high radioactivity makes it useful in anti-static brushes, where a layer of bismuth is slipped inside two thin layers silver and gold foil. A laser is shot through the foil and transmutes the bismuth into polonium. It is also used in nuclear reactors to initiate the reaction.
It was used in a nuclear bomb, as the isotope plutonium-239. This was the most powerful bomb used in war, and it was detonated in Nagasaki, Japan in WWII.
Polonium was used in 2006 to assassinate Alexander Litvenenko, with tea laced with poloniun-210
- The Periodic Table of Elements by Theodore Gray
Polonium was named after the country of Poland after being discovered by Marie Curie.