Californium, with the chemical symbol Cf and atomic number 98, is a remarkable artificially produced chemical element. It was first discovered in 1950 by American scientists Albert Ghiorso, Glenn T. Seaborg, Ralph A. James, and Torbjørn Sikkeland at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The name "Californium" pays homage to the U.S. state of California and the location of its discovery. It was synthesized by irradiating curium with alpha particles. Californium is extremely rare on Earth and is primarily produced in nuclear reactors. Due to its strong radioactivity, it has limited applications but is used in material analysis and as a neutron source for research purposes.

The key Californium isotopes are Californium-251 and Californium-252. Californium-251 has a half-life of about 900 years, while Californium-252 has a half-life of approximately 2.65 years.

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