Encyclopedia of Geochemistry

1999 Edition
| Editors: Clare P. Marshall, Rhodes W. Fairbridge


  • Cynthia E. A. Palmer
  • Ronald S. Kaufmann
  • Charles W. Naeser
  • Nancy D. Naeser
  • William E. Glassley
  • B. De Vivo
  • David W. Mittlefehldt
  • Carl O. Moses
  • Uwe Brand
  • Ian T. Campbell
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-4496-8_6


Fermium (Fm), atomic number (Z) 100, is the eleventh member of the actinide series. Eighteen isotopes (mass = 242–259) have been synthesized and observed. Fermium has no natural abundance; the half-lives range from 0.37 ms to 100.5 days. The electron configurations of the several ionic forms of this element have been determined from atomic beam experiments: M0(g) [Rn] 5f127s2; M+(g) [Rn] (5f127s1); M+2(g) [Rn] (5f12); M+3(g) [Rn] (5f11); M+4(g) [Rn] (5f10). Predicted configurations are shown in parentheses. The crystal structure ionic radius for the +3 ion with a coordination number of six is 0.0922 nm.

Fermium was discovered in 1953 by A. Ghiorso, S.G. Thompson, G.H. Higgins, G.T. Seaborg, M.H. Studier, P.R. Fields, S.M. Fried, H. Diamond, J.F. Mech, G.L. Pyle, J.R. Huizenga, A. Hirsch, W.M. Manning, C.I. Browne, H.L. Smith, and R.W. Spence. Twenty hour 255Fm activity emitting 7.1 MeV alpha particles was discovered in the debris from the test of a large thermonuclear device.



Fluid Inclusion Rock Interaction Fission Track Aqueous Fluid Rock System 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia E. A. Palmer
  • Ronald S. Kaufmann
  • Charles W. Naeser
  • Nancy D. Naeser
  • William E. Glassley
  • B. De Vivo
  • David W. Mittlefehldt
  • Carl O. Moses
  • Uwe Brand
  • Ian T. Campbell

There are no affiliations available