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Berkelium facts for kids

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Berkelium (IPA:) is a chemical element in the periodic table. Berkelium has the symbol Bk and atomic number 97. It is a radioactive metallic element and an actinide. Berkelium was invented by scientists and does not exist in nature. Berkelium was first made by hitting americium with alpha particles or helium ions. It is named after Berkeley, California and the University of California, Berkeley.

, Albert Ghiorso, Stanley G. Thompson, and Kenneth Street, Jr at the University of California, Berkeley in December 1949. The team used a cyclotron to bombard a milligram-sized target of 241Am with alpha particles to produce 243Bk (half-life 4.5 hours) and two free neutrons. One of the longest lived isotopes of the element, 249Bk (half-life 330 days), was later synthesized by subjecting a 244Cm target with an intense beam of neutrons.-->

isotopes have half-lives that are less than 5 days, and the majority of these have half-lives that are less than 5 hours. This element also has 2 meta states, with the most stable being 248mBk (t½ 23.7 hours). The isotopes of berkelium range in atomic weight from 235.057 u (235Bk) to 254.091 u (254Bk).-->

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