a radioactive, metallic chemical element, one of the actinides, initially produced by bombarding americium with high-energy alpha particles in a cyclotron, and now prepared by intense neutron bombardment of plutonium: symbol, Bk; at. no. 97
Origin of berkeliumModL, after Berkeley + -ium: so named by G. T. Seaborg, one of its discoverers, by analogy with terbium
A synthetic transuranic radioactive element having isotopes with mass numbers from 235 to 254. Its longest-lived isotopes, Bk-247 and Bk-248, have half-lives of 1,380 years and more than 9 years, respectively; the isotope produced in greatest quantity, Bk-249, has a half-life of 330 days. Atomic number 97; melting point 996°C; specific gravity 14 (estimated); valence 3, 4. See Periodic Table.
Origin of berkeliumAfter Berkeley, California.
- A transuranic chemical element (symbol Bk) with an atomic number of 97.
After Berkeley, California, because of discovery at UC Berkeley.