# Chemistry of Berkelium

Berkelium was synthesized by Thompson, Ghiorso and Seaborg (see element 106) in 1949 and named for the site of its discovery: Berkeley, California. The initial synthesis was achieved by bombarding Am-241 with alpha particles. Two neutrons are ejected and a nucleus of Bk-243 results.

$\ce{^4_2He + ^{241}_{95}Am \rightarrow ^{243}_{97}Bk + 2 ^1_0n }$

The longest-lived isotope of berkelium is Bk-247 with a half-life of 1,400 years.