Californium

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The discovery of californium came in the era of the syntheses and identifications of other transplutonium elements, following the end of World War II. The discovery of the element californium, like many of the other actinide elements, hinged on the development of new experimental techniques in conjunction with predictions based on nuclear systematics. Californium was named after the University and State of California where many of the transuranium elements were first identified. This element was discovered by Thompson, Street, Ghiorso, and Seaborg (Hyde et al., 1971; Seaborg and Loveland, 1990) in February, 1950. The discovery of californium came only 2 months after the preparation and identification of the first isotope of berkelium, element 97 (see Chapter 10). An account of the discovery and reminiscences about the early work on californium has been given by Ghiorso (1983).