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Atomic symbol Np
Atomic number 93
Classification Metallic
Atomic mass 237 amu
Other Information
Date of discovery 1940
Name of discoverer Edwin M. McMillan, Philip H. Abelson
Name origin Named after the planet Neptune.
Uses Used in neutron detection instruments.
Obtained from Produced by bombarding uranium with slow neutrons. Although it is present in uranium rich ores, it is not extracted from this source. Not found outside nuclear or research facilities.

Neptunium (nep-TOO-nee-em) it a primarily synthetic element named after the planet Neptune (named after the Roman god of the sea), the next planet out from the Sun after Uranus. It was first produced by Edwin M. McMillian and Philip H. Abelson, in 1940. There are 25 known radioactive isotopes of this element.[1]


Neptunium is used mainly for research purposes, since it does not have many commercial applications. It is sometimes used for spacecraft generators and terrestrial navigation beacons, as well as neutron detection equipment.[2]