a radioactive, metallic chemical element, one of the actinides, produced by intense neutron bombardment of plutonium or curium: symbol, Cf; at. no. 98: an isotope (californium-252) with a half-life of 2.65 years is used as a neutron source in mining, medicine, etc.
Origin of californiumModern Latin from California + -ium: so named (1950) by the discoverers, G. T. Seaborg and associates, at the University of California
A synthetic transuranic element having isotopes with mass numbers from 237 to 256 and half-lives varying from 21 milliseconds to 898 years. All isotopes are radioactive, chiefly by emission of alpha particles, and Cf-252 is a potent neutron emitter. Atomic number 98; melting point 900°C; specific gravity 15.1; valence 3. See Periodic Table.
Origin of californiumAfter California
- a transuranic chemical element (symbol Cf) with an atomic number of 98.
From California + Neo-Latin suffix -ium