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Atomic Number of Curium

November 5, 2012

Curium is a silvery metal that is hard and brittle and tarnishes gradually in air at room temperature.

Introduction to atomic number of curium

It is first produced by Glenn T. Seaborg, Albert Ghiorso, and Ralph A. James at University of California in 1944. Its symbol is Cm and the atomic number of curium is 96. Curium does not occur in nature and is a synthetic chemical (produced artificially) produced in nuclear reactors by bombarding plutonium with helium ions (alpha particles).
Properties of Curium

Molecular Weight: 247.070347 [g/mol]

IUPAC Name: curium

Canonical SMILES: [Cm]

InChI: InChI=1S/Cm

InChIKey: NIWWFAAXEMMFMS-UHFFFAOYSA-N

Atomic number of curium: 96

Element category: actinide

Period and block: 7, f

Electron configuration: [Rn]7s25f76d1

Phase: solid

Density: 13.51 g•cm−3

Melting point: 1613 K

Boiling point: 3383 K

Crystal structure: hexagonal close-packed

Atomic Radius: 170 pm

Oxidation States: 3

Uses of Curium

Curium is available only in extremely small quantities. Curium can be used as source of thermoelectric power in crewless space probes and satellites without any heavy shielding.

Curium-242 isotope is used in radio isotopic power generators as it produces around 3 watts of heat energy per gram (through radioactive decay).

Curium-242 is used as source of alpha particles in lunar missions to bombard alpha particles to the moon’s soil to determine materials present in moon soil.

Isotopes of Curium

About sixteen different isotopes of curium are present and some of the main isotopes are Cm-242, with half life of 160 days, Cm-243, with half life of 29 yr, Cm-244, with half life of 18 yr, Cm-245, with half life of 8,500 yr, Cm-246, with half life of 4,700 yr, Cm-247, with half life of 16 million yr, Pu-243, with half life of 5.0 hr, Cm-248, with half life of 340,000 yr, Cm-250, with half life of 6,900 yr, Pu-246, with half life of 11 days, Bk-250, with half life of 3.2 hr, and Am-246, with half life of 39 min.

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