Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A synthetic element produced in trace quantities by helium isotope bombardment of curium. All isotopes are radioactive, chiefly by emission of alpha particles. Atomic number 98; mass numbers 244 to 254; half-lives varying from 25 minutes to 800 years. See Table at element.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a transuranic chemical element (symbol Cf) with an atomic number of 98.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a radioactive transuranic element; discovered by bombarding curium with alpha particles

Etymologies

After California .
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From California + Neo-Latin suffix -ium (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • You need some germanium crystals, a pinch of molybdenum, a teaspoon of californium ... and working with those short-lived superheavies is a royal pain, I'll tell you.

    A Corridor in the Asylum

  • Some of the elements, such as francium and californium, were named to honor the places where they were discovered.

    Elements

  • The two transuranium elements most recently discovered, berkelium and californium, correspond to terbium and dysprosium in the lanthanides.

    Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1951 - Presentation Speech

  • The Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory has produced a dozen superheavy elements called transuranics and bear such names as berkelium, californium, lawrencium and seaborgium.

    SFGate: Top News Stories

  • Don't expect much, after all these are the people behind elements like californium and einsteinium.

    Something Awful

  • So far, CARIBU has only used stable metal ions for charge breeding, but testing has just begun using the radioactive isotopes from the californium source.

    PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

  • The person who discovers the element gets to name it, which is why there are elements called berkelium and californium - for a while, UC Berkeley was the place to be for element hunters.

    SFGate: Entertainment

  • In 1941, the National Gallery of Art opened in Washington, D.C. In 1950, scientists at the University of California at Berkeley announced they had created a new radioactive element, "californium."

    CBS 2 - KCAL 9 - Los Angeles - Southern California - LA Breaking News, Weather, Traffic, Sports

  • Tossing a lump of californium on the moving train improved the accuracy 10-fold, according to the scientists.

    Discover Blogs

  • It was made by bombarding a californium target with a beam of calcium ions.

    BBC News | News Front Page | World Edition

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