The Element Rutherfordium
[Click for Isotope Data]
Atomic Number: 104
Atomic Weight: 263
Melting Point: Unknown
Boiling Point: Unknown
Phase at Room Temperature: Solid
Element Classification: Metal
Period Number: 7 Group Number: 4 Group Name: none
Radioactive and Artificially Produced
What's in a name? Named after the scientist Ernest Rutherford.
Say what? Rutherfordium is pronounced as ruth-er-FORD-ee-em.
History and Uses:
Scientists working at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, first reported the production of rutherfordium in 1964. They bombarded atoms of plutonium-242 with ions of neon-22, forming what they believed to be atoms of rutherfordium-260 and four free neutrons. In 1969, a group of scientists working at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, now known as the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, in Berkeley, California, attempted to confirm the Dubna group's discovery. Lacking the equipment needed to accelerate neon ions, the Berkeley group, led by Albert Ghiorso, bombarded atoms of californium-248 and californium-249 with ions of carbon-12 and carbon-13, producing atoms of rutherfordium-257, rutherfordium-258, rutherfordium-259 and rutherfordium-261. They were, however, unable to produce the same isotope as the Dubna group. Credit for the discovery of rutherfordium is still under debate.
Rutherfordium's most stable isotope, rutherfordium-263, has a half-life of about 10 minutes and decays through spontaneous fission.
Due to the small amounts produced and its short half-life, there are currently no uses for rutherfordium 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: Unknown
Oxidation States: +4
3s2 3p6 3d10
4s2 4p6 4d10 4f14
5s2 5p6 5d10 5f14
6s2 6p6 6d2