Rutherfordium is a transition metal that is one of the synthetic elements. Not much is known about this element, but it is predicted to have chemical traits similar to the element hafnium. Rutherfordium has an atomic number of 256. The melting points and boiling points of this element are not known, and it is presumed to be a solid though that has not been confirmed. To date, there are no commercial uses for the rutherfordium element, and no predicted uses have yet surfaced.
Rutherfordium does not exist in nature. It can only be synthesized for very brief periods of time using specialized equipment.
Throughout the short history of rutherfordium, it has been artificially synthesized in two ways. The first synthesis of rutherfordium took place in 1964. At that time different types of plutonium and neon isotopes were used. The procedures consisted of bombarding a plutonium isotope, number 242, with MeV neon ions, numbers 113 – 115, that had been accelerated. From this process, trace amounts of rutherfordium presented themselves as nuclear fission tracks. These tracks were indentified with a specific type of microscope and glass. The second synthesis of rutherfordium occurred in 1969. At this time the elements calcium and californium were used. During the process, the two elements were stimulated to undergo high energy collisions which resulted in minute amounts of rutherfordium. The isotopes of rutherfordium are highly radioactive and they have a very brief half life; the most stable isotope of rutherfordium has a half life of only 13 hours. The synthesis of rutherfordium is so specialized that it has not been synthesized in any amount which can be studied thus far.
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