Periodic Table


Atomic number: 98
Atomic weight: 251
Symbol: Cf
Group number: (actinide)
Electronic configuration: [Rn].5f10.7s2


Californium is a radioactive rare earth metal named after the state of California and the University of California (USA). Californium-252 is a strong neutron emitter and one microgram emits 170 million neutrons per minute, making it a biological hazard. It has a few specialised uses but only a few of its compounds are known.

General information

Discoveror: Glenn T. Seaborg, Stanley G. Thompson, Albert Ghiorso, Kenneth Street
Date discovered: 1950
Discovered at: USA
Meaning of name: Named after the State and University of "California", USA

Physical data

Standard state: solid at 298 K
Colour: /TR>


This section gives some data for naturally occurring isotopes.
Nominal mass Accurate mass % natural abundance

Further Information

Copyright 1997 Mark Winter
Department of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield, Sheffield S3 7HF, England.

The current version of this document is at http://www.shef.ac.uk/~chem/web-elements-I/Cf.html