Taking a shine to number 100

By Peter Weiss, 15:49 PM April 15, 2008

Scientists have for the first time literally shed light on properties of the radioactive element fermium–a metal discovered some 50 years ago.

Spectroscopy, or the measurement of the wavelengths of light that materials emit or absorb, is a standard way to probe characteristics of materials, including what energy levels their electrons can assume. However, spectroscopy of heavy elements, such as artificially made fermium, element number 100, is difficult because such substances are scarce and ...

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