(Alfred Nobel, discoverer of dynamite) Nobelium was unambiguiously discovered andidentified in April 1958 at Berkeley by A. Ghiorso, T. Sikkeland, J.R. Walton, and G.T.Seaborg, who used a new double-recoil technique. A heavy-ion linear accelerator (HILAC)was used to bombard a thin target of curium (95% 244Cm and 4.5% 246Cm) with 12C ions toproduce 102No according to the 246Cm(12C, 4n) reaction.
In 1957 workers in the United States, Britain, and Sweden announced the discovery of anisotope of element 102 with a 10-minute half-life at 8.5 MeV, as a result of bombarding244Cm with 13C nuclei. On the basis of this experiment, the name nobelium wasassigned and accepted by the Commission on Atomic Weights of the International Union ofPure and Applied Chemistry.
The acceptance of the name was premature because both Russian and American efforts nowcompletely rule out the possibility of any isotope of Element 102 having a half-life of 10min in the vicinity of 8.5 MeV. Early work in 1957 on the search for this element, inRussia at the Kurchatov Institute, was marred by the assignment of 8.9 +/- 0.4 MeV alpharadiation with a half-life of 2 to 40 sec, which was too indefinite to support discoveryclaims.
Confirmatory experiments at Berkeley in 1966 have shown the existence of 254-102 with a55-s half-life, 252-102 with a 2.3-s half-life, and 257-102 with a 23-s half-life.
Following tradition giving the right to name an element to the discoverer(s), theBerkeley group in 1967, suggested that the hastily given name nobelium along withthe symbol No , be retained.
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'Science is a refinement of everyday thinking.'