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    104    

104 Rf Rutherfordium

Transition metal, mass: 267 u, no stable and no natural isotopes.

Image © CERN. Decay traces in a spark chamber, not of rutherfordium, but of a pion. This is a completely different, unrelated particle, but the decay of rutherfordium would make streaks there, too.

Rutherfordium

Rutherfordium is the first transactinide element. Those elements all are highly radioactive with half-lifes in most cases of minutes, seconds and less. Of them, heavier isotopes with a higher neutrons/protons ratio by trend are more stable, compared to the ratio of the lighter elements. But they are also the ones that are more difficult to make, because the original elements used to make them have proportionally less neutrons. The production of transactinide elements in atomic colliders is very extensive and slow. Therefore no visible quantities can be made and not much is known about them. They are yet dealt with for pure basic research. Chemically, those elements are similar to the according element above them, so rutherfordium has properties like hafnium. Its most stable isotope discovered so far is 267Rf with a half-life of 1.3 hours. Most rutherfordium decays by spontaneous fission to different smaller nuclei.


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