Symbol Fm
Atomic Number 41
Atomic Mass (257) g.mol -¹
Discovered by Albert Ghiorso and colleagues in 1953

Chemical Properties of Fermium

Group Actinides Melting point 1527°C, 2781°F, 1800 K
Period 7 Boiling point Unknown
Block f Density (g cm−3) Unknown
Atomic number 100 Relative atomic mass [257]
State at 20°C Solid Key isotopes 257Fm
Electron configuration [Rn] 5f127s2 CAS number 7440-72-4
ChemSpider ID 22432 ChemSpider is a free chemical structure database

What is Fermium?

  • Fermium is a transuranic radioactive element and a member of the actinide series in the periodic table of elements.
  • Fermium was first discovered by Albert Ghiorso and others during the work involving at New Mexico and the University of California at Berkeley in the radioactive fallout from a nuclear test in the Pacific Ocean.
  • So far, not enough fermium has been made to analyze its chemical properties, but it is predicted that it would be a metal susceptible to attack by acids, steam, and air.
  • Fermium is produced in small quantities and does not have an extended half-life.

Uses of Fermium

  • As fermium 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 Fermium

  • The most stable isotope of Fermium, that is fermium-257 has a half-life of around 100.5 days. The isotope can be decayed into californium-253 with alpha decay or through spontaneous fission.

Certain Facts About Fermium

  • It no longer exists naturally on earth but earlier it was known to have been produced in natural reactor deposits.
  • As it does not occur naturally, it has no known health hazards facts and effects.
  • Today fermium can be obtained in microgram quantities by bombarding neutrons of plutonium inside a nuclear reactor. The 257Fm and other higher isotopes can be produced with this process.

Practise This Question

An atom which has mass number of 14 and has 8 neutrons is an