Electron Correlation and Plutonium Phase Diagrams

  • A. C. Lawson
  • Joyce A. Roberts
  • Barbara Martinez
  • James W. RichardsonJr


Phase diagrams of plutonium metal are astonishingly complicated. The main feature is a sequence of crystallographically complex phases. Temperature, pressure and alloying shift the stability of these phases rapidly, so that pressure and alloy phase diagrams are also complicated. Another feature of the plutonium phase diagrams is the anomalously low melting point. How these two features, crystallographic complexity and low melting point, work to determine complicated phase diagrams is shown in Fig. 1. This figure, which is a composite of the relevant binary diagrams, shows that crystallographic complexity and low melting point are nearly exactly coincident. Such behavior is unique to the light actinides. It is natural to seek the source of this behavior in the collective properties of the 5f electrons, and in this paper we will trace some of the paths we are following in this search.


Phase Diagram Alloy Phase Diagram Phonon Spectrum Diffuse Scattering Pair Distribution Function 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. C. Lawson
    • 1
  • Joyce A. Roberts
    • 1
  • Barbara Martinez
    • 1
  • James W. RichardsonJr
    • 2
  1. 1.Los Alamos National LaboratoryLos AlamosUSA
  2. 2.Argonne National LaboratoryArgonneUSA

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