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Chemistry of Berkelium

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  • 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.

    Contributors and Attributions

    Stephen R. Marsden

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