Finding could improve nuclear reactors, detectors

plutonium-from-pnnlRICHLAND, Wash. – A Washington State University physics instructor and undergraduate have taken part in a study aimed at getting a better understanding of plutonium, a complex element with far-ranging applications in the fields of energy, security and the environment.

WSU Tri-Cities physics instructor Cigdem Capan and undergraduate Richard Dempsey worked with a team of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists that found plutonium does not share electrons when it bonds with fluoride atoms. They have published their findings in the journal Physical Review B.

PNNL has a news release on the research at