The Element Fermium
Atomic Number: 100
Atomic Weight: 257
Melting Point: 1800 K (1527°C or 2781°F)
Boiling Point: Unknown
Phase at Room Temperature: Solid
Element Classification: Metal
Period Number: 7
Group Number: none
Group Name: Actinide
Special Notes: Radioactive and Artificially Produced
What's in a name? Named after the scientist Enrico Fermi.
Say what? Fermium is pronounced as FER-mee-em.
History and Uses:
Fermium was discovered by a team of scientists led by Albert Ghiorso in 1952 while studying the radioactive debris produced by the detonation of the first hydrogen bomb. The isotope they discovered, fermium-255, has a half-life of about 20 hours and was produced by combining 17 neutrons with uranium-238, which then underwent eight beta decays. Today, fermium is produced though a lengthy chain of nuclear reactions that involves bombarding each isotope in the chain with neutrons and then allowing the resulting isotope to undergo beta decay.
Due to the small amounts produced and its short half-life, there are currently no uses for fermium 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: 6.50 eV
Oxidation States: +3
3s2 3p6 3d10
4s2 4p6 4d10 4f14
5s2 5p6 5d10 5f12