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Nobelium (No)

a synthesized element named for Alfred Nobel

Bohr diagram of a Nobelium atom


atomic number 102
atomic mass 259.0 amu

melting point 1,520 F (827 C)
boiling point unknown

isotopes 26

Nobelium is classified as a metal.


Nobelium can only be produced by nuclear bombardment.


Since only miniscule amounts of nobelium have ever been produced, it has no use outside of basic scientific research.


In 1957, a group of scientists at the Nobel Institute of Physics in Stockholm, Sweden, Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, Illinois, and the Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Harwell, England, announced the discovery of a new element. They had created the element, which they named in honor of Alfred Nobel, by bombarding a target of curium-244 with ions of carbon-13 in a cyclotron. The isotope they created had a half-life of 10 minutes.

In 1958, another group of scientists at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory University of California at Berkeley attempted to confirm the Nobel group's discovery. The Berkeley group was able to produce nobelium-254, with a half-life of three seconds, but was unable to produce any isotope of nobelium that matched the one produced in Stockholm. A third group, working at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, in 1966, was also unable to replicate the Nobel Institute's results, but was able to confirm the Berkeley group's work. Credit for discovering nobelium was eventually given to the scientists in Berkeley, who chose to keep the name nobelium.

Jefferson Lab

Alfred Nobel

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This page was last updated on 06/15/2017.