Uranium-235 (235U) is an isotope of uranium making up about 0.72% of natural uranium. Unlike the predominant isotope uranium-238, it is fissile, i.e., it can sustain a fission chain reaction. It is the only fissile isotope with a primordial nuclide found in significant quantity in nature.
Uranium-235 has a half-life of 703.8 million years. It was discovered in 1935 by Arthur Jeffrey Dempster. Its (fission) nuclear cross section for slow thermal neutrons is about 584.994 barns. For fast neutrons it is on the order of 1 barn.Most but not all neutron absorptions result in fission; a minority result in neutron capture forming uranium-236.
Natural decay chain