Californium Properties, Molecular Formula, Applications - WorldOfChemicals

Californium Properties




Californium is a radioactive metallic chemical element. It was first produced in 1950 by bombarding curium with alpha particles at the University of California, Berkeley. The element was named for California and the University of California. Californium-252 has a number of specialized applications as a strong neutron emitter; each microgram of fresh californium produces 139 million neutrons per minute. This property makes californium useful as a neutron startup source for some nuclear reactors and as a portable neutron source for neutron activation analysis to detect trace amounts of elements in samples. Neutrons from californium are employed as a treatment of certain cervical and brain cancers where other radiation therapy is ineffective. Neutron penetration into materials makes californium useful in detection instruments such as fuel rod scanners; neutron radiography of aircraft and weapons components to detect corrosion, bad welds, cracks and trapped moisture; and in portable metal detectors.

Chemical Properties

Appearance Silvery Solid
Atomic Number 98
Atomic Weight 251 g/mol
Block f
CAS Number 7440-71-3
Density 15.1 g/cm3
Electron Configuration 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 5s2 4d10 5p6 4f14 5d10 6s2 6p6 5f10 7s2
Ionization Energy 608 KJ/mol
Melting Point 900 °C
Oxidation State 2,3,4
Period 7
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