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[kyoo r-ee-uh m] /ˈkyʊər i əm/
a radioactive element not found in nature but discovered in 1944 among the products of plutonium after bombardment by high-energy helium ions. Symbol: Cm; atomic number: 96.
1946; < New Latin; named after M. and P. Curie; see -ium Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for curium
  • Previous studies also indicate that the heavy actinide element curium belongs in this category.
  • In these cases, high gamma-ray background rates or interference by neutrons from plutonium or curium make a shuffler necessary.
British Dictionary definitions for curium


a silvery-white metallic transuranic element artificially produced from plutonium. Symbol: Cm; atomic no: 96; half-life of most stable isotope, 247Cm: 1.6 x 107 years; valency: 3 and 4; relative density: 13.51 (calculated); melting pt: 1345±400°C
Word Origin
C20: New Latin, named after Pierre and Marie Curie
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for curium

1946, named by U.S. chemist Glenn T. Seaborg, who helped discover it in 1944, for the Curies (see Curie).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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curium in Medicine

curium cu·ri·um (kyur'ē-əm)
Symbol Cm
A metallic synthetic radioactive transuranic element. Atomic number 96; longest-lived isotope Cm 247; melting point (estimated) 1,350°C; valence 3,4.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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curium in Science
Symbol Cm
A synthetic, silvery-white, radioactive metallic element of the actinide series that is produced artificially from plutonium or americium. Curium isotopes are used to provide electricity for satellites and space probes. Its most stable isotope has a half-life of 16.4 million years. Atomic number 96; melting point (estimated) 1,350°C; valence 3. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for curium


synthetic chemical element of the actinoid series of the periodic table, atomic number 96. Undetected in nature, curium (as the isotope curium-242) was discovered (summer 1944) at the University of Chicago by Glenn T. Seaborg, Ralph A. James, and Albert Ghiorso in a plutonium isotope, plutonium-239, that had been bombarded by helium ions (alpha particles) in the 60-inch cyclotron at the University of California, Berkeley. It was the third transuranium element to be discovered

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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