The Element Nobelium
[Click for Isotope Data]
Atomic Number: 102
Atomic Weight: 259
Melting Point: 1100 K (827°C or 1520°F)
Boiling Point: Unknown
Phase at Room Temperature: Solid
Element Classification: Metal
Period Number: 7 Group Number: none Group Name: Actinide
Radioactive and Artificially Produced
What's in a name? Named after the scientist Alfred Nobel.
Say what? Nobelium is pronounced as no-BELL-ee-em.
History and Uses:
In 1957, a group of scientists working at the Nobel Institute of Physics in Stockhlom, Sweden, announced the discovery of a new element. They produced this new element, which they named nobelium, by bombarding a target of curium-244 with ions of carbon-13 with a device called a cyclotron. The isotope they created had a half-life of 10 minutes. In 1958, another group of scientists, Albert Ghiorso, Glenn T. Seaborg, Torbørn Sikkeland and John R. Walton, working at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley, California, attempted to confirm the Nobel Institute's discovery. They were unable to produce any isotope of nobelium with a half-life of 10 minutes, but were able to produce nobelium-254, with a half-life of three seconds, by bombarding curium-246 with carbon-12. A third group, working at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, also could not duplicate the Nobel Institute's work but were able to confirm the Berkeley group's work. Credit for discovering nobelium was eventually given to the scientists working at Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, who decided to keep the name nobelium. Today, the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory is known as the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.
Nobelium's most stable isotope, nobelium-259, has a half-life of about 58 minutes. It decays into fermium-255 through alpha decay, into mendelevium-259 through electron capture or through spontaneous fission.
Since only tiny amounts of nobelium have ever been produced, there are currently no uses for it outside of basic scientific research.
Estimated Crustal Abundance: Not Applicable
Estimated Oceanic Abundance: Not Applicable
Number of Stable Isotopes: 0 (View all isotope data)
Ionization Energy: 6.65 eV
Oxidation States: +3, +2
3s2 3p6 3d10
4s2 4p6 4d10 4f14
5s2 5p6 5d10 5f14