Berkelium is a element with the symbol Bk and atomic number 97. A radioactive metallic element in the actinide series. Weighable amounts of 249Bk (half-life 330 days) make it possible to determine some of its properties using macroscopic quantities. It is a silvery metal that would easily oxidize in air at elevated temperatures
X-ray diffraction techniques have been used to identify various berkelium compounds such as berkelium dioxide (BkO2), berkelium fluoride (BkF3), berkelium oxychloride (BkOCl), and berkelium trioxide (BkO3). In 1962, visible amounts of berkelium chloride (BkCl3) were isolated that weighed 3 billionths of a gram. Like other actinides, berkelium bio-accumulates in skeletal tissue. This element has no known uses outside of basic research and plays no biological role.
19 radioisotopes of berkelium have been characterized, with the most stable being 247Bk with a half-life of 1380 years, 248Bk with a half-life of >9 years, and 249Bk with a half-life of 330 days. All of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lives that are less than 5 days, and the majority of these have half-lives that are less than 5 hours. This element also has 2 meta states, with the most stable being 248mBk (t½ 23.7 hours). The isotopes of berkelium range in atomic weight from 235.057 u (235Bk) to 254.091 u (254Bk).
The base value of each unit of ranges between 45 and 125Ð per unit, with up to 2 units being found at any one time
Presence on Mars: Very Rare
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