Hello, I am doing research for a sci-fi novel that I am writing. One of the things I am trying to do which will hopefully separate my book from the work of others is that I am taking my time and doing lots of research to make certain that everything in my Sci-fi novel can be backed up with science and that it does not defy physics or anything like that which does happen in a lot of Sci-Fi novels and movies. My novel takes place in the future and most of everything in this future world is powered by an element very much like Plutonium except it admits A LOT more energy. This element is used to power pretty much everything in this futuristic world. I already have my new element named and all that but now I am trying to make the science behind it work. Most of my field of study has been in Astronomy so I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to more Earth based sciences.
So I was hoping someone could help me work out the science behind this new element and make it work. It doesn’t have to be naturally occurring. I would prefer if it was but if in order to make the element work, it must be man made then I will go with it. I don't really understand the concept of Uranium or Plutonium and why exactly they give off energy or what the half life has to do with it. So any help or suggestions would be appreciated.