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Curium (Cm)
Symbol Cm
Atomic Number 96
Atomic Mass (247) g.mol -1
Discovered by G.T. Seaborg in 1944

Chemical Properties of Curium

Group Actinides Melting point 1345°C, 2453°F, 1618 K
Period 7 Boiling point Unknown
Block f Density (g cm−3) 13.51
Atomic number 96 Relative atomic mass [247]
State at 20°C Solid Key isotopes 243Cm, 248Cm
Electron configuration [Rn] 5f76d17s2 CAS number 7440-51-9
ChemSpider ID 22415 ChemSpider is a free chemical database

What is Curium ?

  • Curium is a hard metal having an atomic number of 96 and symbol Cm. This metal is artificially produced in the nuclear reactors. It is electro-positive, radioactive and also a chemically active substance, which is not obtained naturally. This metal possesses some magnetic properties. As the temperature increases, the resistivity of this metal also increases.
  • In the year 1944, Glenn Seaborg, Albert Ghiorso, and James discovered this metal and was named after Marie Curie and Pierre Curie.

Applications of Curium

  • The isotopes of curium such as curium- 244 and curium 242 are used in power generation industries such as thermo-electric and thermionic converters.
  • This metal is used in the X-ray spectrometer for the purpose of quantitative analysis
  • In medical applications, it is used as power source.
  • One gram of curium produces around 3 watts of thermal energy. For this reason, It is used in spacecraft applications.
  • It has its wide uses in the field of research industries as it is a radioactive element.

Effects of Curium

  • Curium is a hazardous metal, which causes some health disorders when inhaled.
  • It damages the liver and also causes breathing and gastrointestinal problems when ingested.
  • Rats, when injected with an isotope of curium, was observed to develop skeletal cancer.
  • The radiation, which is emitted by curium are likely to cause the destruction of the red blood cells.

Environmental effects of Curium

  • Improper disposal of curium leads to various environmental issues. Curium is found in nature in the form of its oxides.
  • The radiation generated from this metal has many natural impacts.
  • Curium is an insoluble chemical, which fixes to the soil particles.
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