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Rutherfordium (Rf): Transition Metals

What is Rutherfordium?

Rutherfordium is the first transactinide element. It was discovered in 1969 by Albert Ghiorso and his coworkers, who carried out the reactions  Cf ( C, 4n)→  Rf (half-life of approximately 3.8 seconds) and  Cf ( C, 3n)→  Rf (half-life of approximately 3.4 seconds). There are ten known isotopes of rutherfordium, having mass numbers that range from 253 to 262, the isotope with the longest measured half-life being Rf (half-life of approximately 1.1 minutes).  (Continue reading in Chemistry Explained)


The History

In 1964, a team led by Georgy Flerov at the Russian Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, bombarded plutonium with neon and produced element 104, isotope 259. They confirmed their findings in 1966.

In 1969, a team led by Albert Ghiorso at the Californian Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) made three successful attempts to produce element 104: by bombarding curium with oxygen to get isotope-260, californium with carbon to get isotope-257, and californium with carbon to get isotope-258. (Continue reading from Royal Society of Chemistry)


Rutherfordium Facts

Rutherfordium is a synthetic element and little is known about its properties. It is presumed to be a solid metal. It is the first transactinide element, and is presumed to have chemical properties similar to hafnium.  

Rutherfordium has 12 recognized isotopes with known half-lives. The most stable is 263Rf, which has a half-live of ten minutes. It decays through spontaneous fission.

Rutherfordium is produced artificially and only small amounts have been made. The Dubna scientists produced it by bombarding plutonium with accelerated 113 to 115 MeV neon ions. The Berkeley team produced four isotopes by bombarding 249Cf with 12C nuclei of 71 MeV, and 13C nuclei of 69 MeV.  (Continue reading from Live Science)

Learn More...

PubChem Rutherfordium (National Library of Medicine)

Rutherfordium (Science Learning Hub)

The Race for Rutherfordium (Nature Chemistry)

It's Elemental (JLab Science Education)

Watch a Video on Rutherfordium


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