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Surface adsorption represents a competition between collision and scattering processes that depend on surface energy, surface structure and temperature. The surface reactivity of the actinides can add additional complexity due to radiological dissociation of the gas and electronic structure. Here we elucidate the chemical bonding of gas molecules adsorbed on Pu metal and oxide surfaces. Atmospheric gas reactions were studied at 190 and 300 K using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Evolution of the Pu 4f and O 1s core-level states were studied as a function of gas dose rates to generate a set of Langmuir isotherms. Results show that the initial gas dose forms Pu2O3 on the Pu metal surface followed by the formation of PuO2 resulting in a layered oxide structure. This work represents the first steps in determining the activation energy for adsorption of various atmospheric gases on Pu.
As meteorites from the Moon and Mars continue to be discovered, it is increasingly clear that impact fragments can escape from large bodies more easily than previously believed. These escaping fragments are then subject to the gravitational perturbations of the planets, allowing them to be transferred to a body other than their parent. The lunar meteorites and SNC meteorites prove the plausibility of this process. Warren (1994) summarizes cosmic ray exposure ages and other properties of the lunar and martian meteorites. Their existence confirms that lightly shocked material can be launched at greater than the escape speed of the Moon and Mars.
Measurements of longitudinal variations in the brightness and in the latitude of the solar system dust bands recently discovered by IRAS will determine the orbital elements of the particles involved and may discriminate between cometary and asteroidal models of the origin of these bands. The expected variations for bands of dust particles with common orbital elements and small eccentricity and inclination are calculated as functions of semimajor axis.
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