Rutherfordium (Rf)

Isotopes of Rutherfordium

Isotope Atomic Mass Half-life Mode of Decay
Rf-255 255.1015 1.70 seconds α to No-251; SF
Rf-256 256.1012 0.007 seconds α to No-252; SF
Rf-257 257.1032 4.70 seconds α to No-253; SF;
EC to Lr-257
Rf-258 258.1035 0.012 seconds α to No-254; SF
Rf-259 259.1056 3.40 seconds α to No-255; SF;
EC to Lr-259
Rf-260 260.1065 0.020 seconds α to No-256; SF
Rf-261 261.10869 1.10 minutes α to No-257; SF;
EC to Lr-261
Rf-262 262.1101 1.20 seconds SF
Rf-263 263.1125 15.00 minutes α to No-259; SF


Rutherfordium is a synthetic element that is not present in the environment. It was reportedly first detected in 1964 at the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research, Dubna, former Soviet Union. It was synthesized in 1969 at the University of California - Berkeley, USA. It was initially proposed that the element be named after Igor Kurchatov (1903–1960), a Soviet nuclear physicist who is remembered as “the father of the Soviet atomic bomb.” After some controversy concerning competing claims of discovery, the element was eventually named after Ernest Rutherford (1871–1937), a British-New Zealand chemist and physicist who became known as “the father of nuclear physics.”

Researchers have concluded that rutherfordium's basic properties will resemble those of other group 4 elements below titanium, zirconium and hafnium. It is expected to be a solid under normal conditions and to assume a hexagonal close-packed crystal structure, similar to its lighter congener hafnium, and it should be a very heavy metal. Rutherfordium has no stable or naturally-occurring isotopes. Several radioactive isotopes have been synthesized in the laboratory, either by fusing two atoms or by observing the decay of heavier elements.

Properties of Rutherfordium

Name Rutherfordium
Symbol Rf
Atomic number 104
Atomic weight [265]
Standard state Presumably a solid at 298 °K
CAS Registry ID 53850-36-5
Group in periodic table 4
Group name None
Period in periodic table 7
Block in periodic table d-block
Color Unknown, but probably metallic and silvery white or grey in appearance
Classification Metallic
Melting point No data available
Boiling point No data available
Density of solid 17.00 g/cm3 (predicted)
Electron configuration [Rn}5f146d27s2

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