Nobelium, with the chemical symbol No and atomic number 102, is a fascinating artificially produced chemical element. It was first discovered in 1966 by scientists Albert Ghiorso, Torbjørn Sikkeland, Almon E. Larsh, and Robert M. Latimer at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The discovery was made through the irradiation of curium with carbon nuclei.
The name "Nobelium" is derived from Alfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel Prize. The discovery took place as part of the exploration of transuranic elements, contributing to the expansion of the periodic table. Nobelium is extremely rare on Earth and is primarily produced in nuclear reactors or through the decay of other transuranic elements. Due to its strong radioactivity, nobelium has limited applications. It is used in research for specialized studies on nuclear structure.
The key nobelium isotopes are Nobelium-254, Nobelium-255, and Nobelium-257. Nobelium-254 has a half-life of about 51.5 days, Nobelium-255 about 3 hours, and Nobelium-257 about 23 minutes.