Rutherfordium is a synthetic chemical element with the symbol Rf and atomic number 104, It a synthetic element, it is not found in nature and can only be created in a laboratory. It is radioactive; the most stable known isotope, 267Rf, has a half-life of approximately 1.3 hours. In the periodic table of the elements, it is a d-block element and the second of the fourth-row transition elements.
It is a member of the 7th period and belongs to the group 4 elements. Chemistry experiments have confirmed that rutherfordium behaves as the heavier homologue to hafnium in group 4. The chemical properties of rutherfordium are characterized only partly. They compare well with the chemistry of the other group 4 elements, even though some calculations had indicated that the element might show significantly different properties due to relativistic effects.
In the 1960s, small amounts of rutherfordium were produced in the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in the Soviet Union and at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. The priority of the discovery and therefore the naming of the element was disputed between Soviet and American scientists, and it was not until 1997 that International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) established rutherfordium as the official name for the element.
Characteristics of Rutherfordium
- Rutherfordium is the first transactinide element and the second member of the 6d series of transition metals.
- It is a kind of trans-uranium and radioactive element which cannot be found in nature.
- It does not have any stable or naturally occurring isotopes.
- Many radioactive isotopes have been created in the lab, either by observing the decay of heavier metals or by fusing two elements.
- Rutherfordium is expected to be a solid under normal conditions and assume a hexagonal close-packed crystal structure (c/a = 1.61), Similar to its lighter congener hafnium.