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It's Elemental

The Element Rutherfordium

[Click for Isotope Data]


104 Rf Rutherfordium 263

Atomic Number: 104

Atomic Weight: 263

Melting Point: Unknown

Boiling Point: Unknown

Density: Unknown

Phase at Room Temperature: Solid

Element Classification: Metal

Period Number: 7

Group Number: 4

Group Name: none

Special Notes: 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

Electron Shell Configuration:


2s2   2p6

3s2   3p6   3d10

4s2   4p6   4d10   4f14

5s2   5p6   5d10   5f14

6s2   6p6   6d2


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For questions about this page, please contact Steve Gagnon.