Fermium

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Fermium (play /ˈfɜrmiəm/ FUR-mee-əm) is a synthetic element with the symbol Fm. It is the 100th element in the periodic table and a member of the actinide series. It is the heaviest element that can be formed by neutron bombardment of lighter elements, and hence the last element that can be prepared in macroscopic quantities. A total of 19 isotopes are known, with 257Fm being the longest-lived one with a half-life of 100.5 days.

It was discovered in the debris of the first hydrogen bomb explosion in 1952, and named after Nobel laureate Enrico Fermi, one of the pioneers of nuclear physics. Its chemistry is typical of the late actinides, with a preponderance of the +3 oxidation state but also an accessible +2 oxidation state. Owing to the small amounts of produced fermium and its short half-life, there are currently no uses for it outside of basic scientific research. Like all synthetic elements, isotopes of fermium are extremely radioactive and are considered highly toxic.

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