|Berkeley, Chicago—Glenn T. Seaborg, Ralph A. James, Albert Ghiorso elements|
- Glenn T. Seaborg, Ralph A. James, and Albert Ghiorso
- bombarded plutonium-239 oxide with helium nuclei.
- They separated curium-242 and curium-240
- after dissolving the bombarded plutonium oxide in acids.
Atomic number 96
- Curium decays mainly
- by emitting alpha particles
- which has been used
- for X-ray spectrometers
- on Mars landers.
- The last primordial curium disappeared
- millions of years after our planet formed.
- So if you take a walk into the desert and find any curium,
- it will have come from atmospheric nuclear weapons tests.
- Unless you take a swim in the pools that cool spent nuclear fuel,
- you won’t find any curium. None. No curium.
- If we were to end all nuclear power and nuclear weaponry,
- all the curium on Earth would eventually dissolve.