Chemical Element: fermium

(Modern Latin: chemical element; named in honor of Enrico Fermi, an Italian-American physicist; rare earth)

Chemical-Element Information

Symbol: Fm
Atomic number: 100
Year discovered: 1952

Discovered by: Albert Ghiorso (born July 15, 1915) and co-workers at Argonne, Los Alamos, New Mexico; and the University of California at Berkeley.

  • Fermium was identified by Albert Ghiorso and co-workers (Berkeley, California, USA) in 1952 in the radioactive debris from a thermonuclear explosion in the Pacific.
  • Enrico Fermi (1901-1954) died in the months preceding the laboratory study of the elements and this element was named in his honor.
  • Fermi was born in Italy, went to the U.S. in 1938, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1944.
  • He is considered one of the chief architects of the nuclear age.
  • Fermi is given credit for discovering slow neutrons.
  • In 1938, he was awarded the Nobel prize for physics and the discovery of neutron-induced nuclear reactions.
  • He worked on the atomic bomb project at Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Name in other languages:

French: fermium

German: Fermium

Italian: fermio

Spanish: fermio

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.