Chemical Element: californium

(Modern Latin: chemical element; first made at the University of California and named for California and the University of California in Berkeley; radioactive metal)

Chemical-Element Information

Symbol: Cf
Atomic number: 98
Year discovered: 1950

Discovered by: Glenn Theodore Seaborg (1912-1999), American physicist, Albert Ghiorso (born July 15, 1915), and Kenneth Street, in Berkeley, California.

  • Metallic californium should be electropositive, reactive, and silver-colored like other actinide metals.
  • Californium is a synthetic chemical element not found in nature.
  • The discoverers suggested the name californium to honor the state and the university where the work was done.

Name in other languages:

French: californium

German: Californium

Italian: californio

Spanish: californio

Information about other elements may be seen at this Chemical Elements List.

A special unit about words that include chemo-, chem- may be seen here.