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Fermium

Discovery date Discovered by Origin of the name Allotropes 100

1952 G.R. Choppin and co-workers Fermium is named after the nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi. -

257.095 Fact Box Terminology Group Elements appear in columns or groups in the periodic table. Members of a group typically have similar properties and electron configurations in their outer shell. Period Elements are laid out into rows or periods so that similar chemical behaviour is observed in columns.

Block Elements are organised into blocks by the orbital type in which the outer electrons are found. These blocks are named for the characteristic spectra they produce: sharp, principal, diffuse, and fundamental.

Atomic Number The number of protons in the nucleus. Atomic Radius/non -bonded () based on Van der Waals forces (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope). These values were calculated using a multitude of methods including crystallographic data, gas kinetic collision cross sections, critical densities, liquid state properties, for more details please refer to the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Electron Configuration The arrangements of electrons above the last (closed shell) noble gas. Isotopes Elements are defined by the number of protons in its centre (nucleus), whilst the number of neutrons present can vary. The variations in the number of neutrons will create elements of different mass which are known as isotopes. Melting Point (oC) The temperature at which the solid-liquid phase change occurs. Melting Point (K) The temperature at which the solid-liquid phase change occurs. Melting Point (oF) The temperature at which the solid-liquid phase change occurs.

Boiling Point (oC) The temperature at which the liquid-gas phase change occurs. Boiling Point (K) The temperature at which the liquid-gas phase change occurs. Boiling Point (oF) The temperature at which the liquid-gas phase change occurs. Sublimation Elements that do not possess a liquid phase at atmospheric pressure (1 atm) are described as going through a sublimation process. Density (kgm-3) Density is the weight of a substance that would fill 1 m3 (at 298 K unless otherwise stated). Relative Atomic Mass The mass of an atom relative to that of Carbon-12. This is approximately the sum of the number of

protons and neutrons in the nucleus. Where more than one isotope exists the value given is the abundance weighted average. Key Isotopes (% abundance) An element must by definition have a fixed number of protons in its nucleus, and as such has a fixed atomic number, however variants of an element can exist with differing numbers of neutrons, and hence a different atomic masses (e.g. 12C has 6 protons and 6 neutrons and 13C has 6 protons and 7 neutrons). CAS number The Chemical Abstracts Service registry number is a unique identifier of a particular chemical, designed to prevent confusion arising from different languages and naming systems (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope). Fact Box

Group Period Block Atomic number State at room temperature Electron configuration ChemSpider ID

Actinides 7 f 100 Solid

Melting point Boiling point Density (kg m-3) Relative atomic mass Key isotopes

1527 oC, 2780.6 oF, 1800.15 K Unknown Unknown 257.095 257Fm

[Rn] 5f127s2

CAS number

7440-72-4

22434

ChemSpider is a free chemical structure database

Interesting Facts terminology Image Explanation Murray Robertson is the artist behind the images which make up Visual Elements. This is where the artist explains his interpretation of the element and the science behind the picture. Natural Abundance Where this element is most commonly found in nature. Biological Roles

The elements role within the body of humans, animals and plants. Also functionality in medical advancements both today and years ago. Appearance The description of the element in its natural form. Uses / Interesting Facts Image explanation The image aims to suggest a self propagating nuclear chain reaction such as is found in nuclear reactors and atomic bombs. Appearance A radioactive metal obtained only in millionth-of-a-gramme quantities in nuclear reactors. Uses Fermium has no uses outside research. Biological role Fermium has no known biological role. It is toxic due to its radioactivity. Natural abundance Fermium can be obtained in microgram quantities from the neutron bombardment of plutonium. Atomic Data Terminology Atomic radius/non -bonded () Based on Van der Waals forces (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope). These values were calculated using a multitude of methods including crystallographic data, gas kinetic collision cross sections, critical densities, liquid state properties,for more details please refer to the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Electron affinity (kJ mol-1) The energy released when an additional electron is attached to the neutral atom and a negative ion is formed (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope). *

Electronegativity (Pauling scale) The degree to which an atom attracts electrons towards itself, expressed on a relative scale as a function bond dissociation energies, Ed in eV. A - B =(eV)-1/2sqrt(Ed(AB)-*Ed(AA)+Ed(BB)+/2), with H set as 2.2 (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope).

1st Ionisation energy (kJ mol-1) The minimum energy required to remove an electron from a neutral atom in its ground state (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope). Covalent radius () The size of the atom within a covalent bond, given for typical oxidation number and coordination (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope). *** Atomic Data Atomic radius, non-bonded () 2.450 Electron affinity (kJ mol-1) Unknown 1st 2nd 3rd Ionisation energies (kJ mol-1) 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th Mining/Sourcing Information Data for this section of the data page has been provided by the British Geological Survey. To review the full report please click here or please look at their website here. Key for numbers generated Governance indicators 1 (low) = 0 to 2 2 (medium-low) = 3 to 4 3 (medium) = 5 to 6 4 (medium-high) = 7 to 8 5 (high) = 9 Covalent radius ()1.67 Electronegativity Unknown (Pauling scale)

627.154 -

Reserve base distribution 1 (low) = 0 to 30 % 2 (medium-low) = 30 to 45 % 3 (medium) = 45 to 60 % 4 (medium-high) = 60 to 75 % 5 (high) = 75 % (Where data are unavailable an arbitrary score of 2 was allocated. For example, Be, As, Na, S, In, Cl, Ca and Ge are allocated a score of 2 since reserve base information is unavailable. Reserve base data are also unavailable for coal; however, reserve data for 2008 are available from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).) Production Concentration 1 (low) = 0 to 30 % 2 (medium-low) = 30 to 45 % 3 (medium) = 45 to 60 % 4 (medium-high) = 60 to 75 % 5 (high) = 75 % Crustal Abundance 1 (low) = 100 to 1000 ppm 2 (medium-low) =10 to 100 ppm 3 (medium) = 1 to 10 ppm 4 (medium-high) = 0.1 to 1 ppm 5 (high) = 0.1 ppm (Where data are unavailable an arbitrary score of 2 was allocated. For example, He is allocated a score of 2 since crustal abundance data is unavailable.) Explanations for terminology Crustal Abundance (ppm)

The abundance of an element in the Earth's crust in parts-per-million (ppm) i.e. The number of atoms of this element per 1 million atoms of crust. Sourced The country with the largest reserve base. Reserve Base Distribution This is a measure of the spread of future supplies, recording the percentage of a known resource likely to be available in the intermediate future (reserve base) located in the top three countries. Production Concentrations This reports the percentage of an element produced in the top three countries. The higher the value, the larger risk there is to supply. Total Governance Factor The World Bank produces a global percentile rank of political stability. The scoring system is given below, and the values for all three production countries were summed. Relative Supply Risk Index The Crustal Abundance, Reserve Base Distribution, Production Concentration and Governance Factor scores are summed and then divided by 2, to provide an overall Relative Supply Risk Index. Supply Risk Scarcity factor Country with largest reserve base Crustal abundance (ppm) Leading producer Reserve base distribution (%) Production concentration (%) Total governance factor(production) Oxidation states/ Isotopes Key for Isotopes Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Top 3 countries (production) Unknown Top 3 countries (mined) Unknown

Half Life y d h m s Mode of decay + EC sf ECEC alpha particle emission negative beta (electron) emission positron emission orbital electron capture spontaneous fission double beta emission double orbital electron capture years days hours minutes seconds

Terminology Common Oxidation states The oxidation state of an atom is a measure of the degree of oxidation of an atom. It is defined as being the charge that an atom would have if all bonds were ionic. Free atoms have an oxidation state of 0, and the sum of oxidation numbers within a substance must equal the overall charge. Important Oxidation states The most common oxidation states of an element in its compounds. Isotopes Elements are defined by the number of protons in its centre (nucleus), whilst the number of neutrons

present can vary. The variations in the number of neutrons will create elements of different mass which are known as isotopes. Oxidation States / Isotopes Common oxidation states Isotopes 3 Isotope Atomic mass Natural abundance (%) Half life Mode of decay 257Fm 257.095 100.5 d sf

Pressure and Temperature - Advanced Terminology Molar Heat Capacity (J mol-1 K-1) Molar heat capacity is the energy required to heat a mole of a substance by 1 K. Young's modulus (GPa) Young's modulus is a measure of the stiffness of a substance, that is, it provides a measure of how difficult it is to extend a material, with a value given by the ratio of tensile strength to tensile strain. Shear modulus (GPa) The shear modulus of a material is a measure of how difficult it is to deform a material, and is given by the ratio of the shear stress to the shear strain. Bulk modulus (GPa) The bulk modulus is a measure of how difficult to compress a substance. Given by the ratio of the pressure on a body to the fractional decrease in volume. Vapour Pressure (Pa) Vapour pressure is the measure of the propensity of a substance to evaporate. It is defined as the equilibrium pressure exerted by the gas produced above a substance in a closed system. Pressure / Temperature - Advanced Molar heat capacity (J mol-1 K-1) Shear modulus (GPa) Unknown Unknown Young's modulus (GPa) Bulk modulus (GPa) Unknown Unknown

Vapour pressure Temperature (K) 400 Pressure (Pa) 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200 2400 ------

Elements and Periodic Table History Fermium was discovered in 1953 in the debris of the first thermonuclear explosion which took place on a Pacific atoll on 1 November 1952. In this a uranium-238 bomb was used to provide the heat necessary to trigger a thermonuclear explosion. The uranium-238 had been exposed to such a flux of neutrons that some of its atoms had captured several of them, thereby forming elements of atomic numbers 93 to 100, and among the last of these was an isotope of element 100, fermium-255. News of its discovery was kept secret until 1955. Explore all Elements A Aluminium Argon Arsenic Antimony Astatine Actinium Americium B Beryllium Boron Bromine Barium Bismuth Berkelium Bohrium C Carbon Chlorine Calcium Chromium Cobalt Copper Cadmium Caesium Cerium Curium Californium Copernicium D Dysprosium Dubnium Darmstadtium E Europium Erbium Einsteinium F Fluorine Francium Fermium Flerovium G Gallium Germanium Gadolinium Gold H

Hydrogen Helium Holmium Hafnium Hassium I Iron Indium Iodine Iridium K Krypton L Lithium Lanthanum Lutetium Lead Lawrencium Livermorium M Magnesium Manganese Molybdenum Mercury Mendelevium Meitnerium N Nitrogen Neon Nickel Niobium Neodymium Neptunium Nobelium O Oxygen Osmium P Phosphorus Potassium Palladium Praseodymium Promethium Platinum Polonium Protactinium Plutonium R Rubidium Ruthenium Rhodium Rhenium Radon Radium Rutherfordium Roentgenium S Sodium Silicon Sulfur Scandium Selenium Strontium Silver Samarium Seaborgium T Titanium Technetium Tin Tellurium Terbium Thulium Tantalum Tungsten Thallium Thorium U Uranium Ununtrium Ununpentium Ununseptium Ununoctium V Vanadium

X Xenon Y Yttrium Ytterbium Z Zinc Zirconium

Chemistry in Its Element - Fermium The number 100 is a very significant one for human beings. It's partly because our number system is based on ten - so ten tens seems to have a special significance. In years, it's around the maximum lifetime of a human being, making a century more than just a useful division in the historical timeline. But in the natural world, 100 isn't quite so important. There's nothing about being element 100 that makes fermium stand out - the periodic table doesn't attach any significance to base 10. But it's hard not to think that fermium must be special in some way. Like element 99 (einsteinium), fermium was first made in the hydrogen bomb test on Elugelab Island on the Eniwetok Atoll in the South Pacific. The test bomb exploded on the first of November 1952*, blasting vast quantities of material into the atmosphere that drifted down as fallout. The team from the University of Berkeley at California that tested tonnes of ash and coral debris found around 200 atoms of element 100. This had been created from uranium 238. Fusion in the hydrogen bomb was triggered by a conventional atomic bomb, and the remnants of that trigger's uranium fuel absorbed a swathe of neutrons, some of which then changed to protons as they underwent beta decay, finally producing fermium 255. The discoverers aptly named the element after Enrico Fermi, the Italian-born physicist whose work at the University of Chicago was crucial to the development of nuclear explosives. This work took place under the bleachers of a dusty, disused football stadium. The site hadn't been used for three years since the president of Chicago University closed down the football team as a distraction from academic work. In a claustrophobic space beneath the stands was an old squash court. Here, in 1942, Fermi and his team built the world's first manmade nuclear reactor, literally an atomic pile of carbon bricks where materials for the atomic bomb would be produced. Fermi, who won the Nobel Prize in 1938, also worked in quantum mechanics and particle physics, making him an ideal candidate for an elementary name. The element was almost named centurium, however. In 1953, scientists at the Nobel Institute in Stockholm had produced fermium 250 by bombarding uranium with oxygen nuclei. At the time, the discoveries from the hydrogen bomb were classified,

so the Swedes, who tentatively came up with the centurium name for one hundred, could have got in first, had fermium not been rapidly de-classified. It might be no coincidence that the Berkeley team allowed the Nobel Institute's name nobelium for element 102 to continue to be used when the Swedes' claim for discovering that element proved dubious. There could have been a certain amount of guilt for sneaking in fermium under their noses. Fermium is an actinide, part of the floating bar of elements that is squeezed out from between actinium and lawrencium. Perhaps its greatest claim to fame on the periodic table is that it defines the start of the most obscure of the artificial elements - those above 100 are referred to as the transfermium elements. It is certainly the highest numbered element that has had a practical use identified. Although not yet deployed, fermium 255 is a strong alpha particle emitter with a half life - the time it takes half the material to undergo nuclear decay - of around 20 hours. In medical radioactive applications this is a good combination, where alpha sources are used in radiotherapy for cancer. This is a convenient half-life as it means the alpha particles - nuclei of helium atoms with two protons and two neutrons - are produced long enough for the source to be deployed, but the waste matter becomes a low level hazard very quickly. Fermium is usually produced using accelerators like cyclotrons now, although it has a special place in the periodic table as the highest numbered element that can be produced in a nuclear reactor, rather than by smashing atoms together in an accelerator. This is something of a useless capability, however. The fermium produced in reactors seems a good, useable product. It's fermium 257, which has a very practical half life of 100 days. But there's never a chance to use it. Inside a reactor there are plenty of loose neutrons floating about - this is how the chain reaction of the reactor works. Fermium 257 is great at absorbing neutrons and immediately become fermium 258. This has a tiny half life of less than a millisecond. So before you can get your hands on the fermium produced in a reactor it has disappeared. Like its transfermium colleagues, fermium has only been made in relatively tiny quantities. This means that no one has produced a big enough sample of fermium to be able to see it, though the expectation is that like other similar elements it would be a silvery-grey metal. Fermium has limited value, but anything numbered 100 inevitably feels a little special. And perhaps fermium is, at least when it's made in a nuclear reactor. You can see fermium as a sneaky element. As we've seen, this is a product that you can make, that should last 100 days before half of it has disappeared, yet in practice it vanishes after milliseconds. Perhaps what makes fermium special is that it's an element with a wicked sense of humour. So the element that scientists are trying - and failing - to get their hands on. That was

Brian Clegg, with the disappearing properties of fermium. Now next week, and element that we can see, and it's a lanthanide with a diverse range of applications. Lutetium and its compounds have found some applications, the most important of these is the use of the oxide in making catalysts for cracking hydrocarbons in the petrochemical industry. But there are other more specialist uses, such as using the radioactive Lutetium-177 isotope in cancer therapy. Lutetium ions were also used to dope gadolinium gallium garnet to make magnetic bubble computer memory that was eventually replaced by modern-day hard drives. Lutetium triflate has also been found to be a very effective recyclable catalyst for organic synthesis in aqueous systems - it avoids the use of organic solvents giving it green credentials. And to find out the chemistry and properties of lutetium that make it so widely applicable, join Simon Cotton in next week's Chemistry in its element. until then, I'm Meera Senthilingham and thank you for listening. Chemistry in its element is brought to you by the Royal society of chemistry and produced by thenakedscientists dot com. There's more information and other episodes of Chemistry in its element on our website at chemistryworld dot org forward slash elements.

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