Einsteinium – UPSC Prelims

  • Einsteinium, named after Albert Einstein is a synthetic element with the symbol Es and atomic number 99.
  • It was discovered in 1952 in the debris of the first hydrogen bomb (the detonation of a thermonuclear device called “Ivy Mike” in the Pacific Ocean).
  • Properties of Einsteinium and key research findings:
    • Einsteinium is difficult to create and is highly radioactive. Therefore, very little is known about this element.
    • Einsteinium-254 is one of the more stable isotopes of the element that has a half-life of 276 days. The most common isotope of the element, einsteinium 253 has a half-life of 20 days.
    • The element was present on earth during its formation. However, because of its high radioactivity and short half-life of all einsteinium isotopes, it has most certainly decayed.
    • The element is not visible to the naked eye. After it was discovered, it took over nine years to manufacture enough of it so that it could be seen with the naked eye.
    • The usage of the element is also limited except for the purposes of scientific research.
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