How did americium, curium and berkelium get their names?


                     Americium is named after the Americas. Americium is created during the nuclear reactions of heavy elements. Scientists say that before its actual production in 1944, the element would have been likely created during nuclear experiments!

                     Americium is a highly radioactive element that can be dangerous when handled incorrectly and can cause severe illnesses. This element’s main use is in smoke detectors as part of fire-safety measures as it produces a tiny current that triggers alarm when it meets with particles of smoke. Its atomic number is 95, and it is represented as Am.



                   Curium is named in honour of Pierre and Marie Curie. It is a hard, dense and silvery metal. The element was identified by Glenn Seaborg, Ralph James and Albert Ghiorso in 1944 at the wartime metallurgical laboratory at the University of Chicago. Curium is produced from plutonium, and is used as a power source for pacemakers, navigational buoys and spacecraft. It has the atomic number 96, and its atomic symbol is Cm.





            Berkelium is named after a city called Berkeley, in California, where it was first discovered. Obtained from plutonium in nuclear reactors, less than one gram of it is produced each year. There is hardly any industrial significance for the element, other than scientific research. Berkelium is represented as Bk, and it has the atomic number 97.


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