Fermium is a synthetic element with the symbol Fm and atomic number 100. It is a radioactive element and a member of the actinide group of the periodic table of elements. So far not enough fermium has been made to analyze its chemical properties, but predictions are that it would be a silvery metal susceptible to attack by air, steam, and acids. It was discovered in the debris of the first hydrogen bomb explosion in 1952, and named after Enrico Fermi, one of the pioneers of nuclear physics.
Its chemistry is typical for the late actinides, with a preponderance of the +3 oxidation state but also an accessible +2 oxidation state. Owing to the small amounts of produced fermium and all of its isotopes having relatively short half-lives, there are currently no uses for it outside basic scientific research.
|Atomic Mass||(257) g.mol -¹|
|Discovered by||Albert Ghiorso and colleagues in 1953|
|Electron configuration||[Rn]5f 127s2
Uses of Fermium
- It is found in very small quantities and all of its isotopes have very short lives, there is no commercial use for the element.
- The scientists make use of this element in their research in expanding their knowledge on the rest of the periodic table.
Properties of Fm
- The most stable isotope of Fermium, which is fermium-257.
- Fm is the longest-lived with a half-life of 100.5 days.
- The isotope can be decayed into californium-253 with alpha decay or through spontaneous fission.
- Fermium-257 is the heaviest isotope that is obtained via neutron capture and can only be produced in picogram quantities.
- It has been estimated to be similar to that of the ytterbium(III)/(II) couple, or about −1.15 V with respect to the standard hydrogen electrode, a value which agrees with theoretical calculations.