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A synthetic, radioactive element that is produced by bombarding plutonium with carbon or neon ions. Its most stable isotope is Rf 261 with a half-life of 62 seconds. Atomic number 104. See Periodic Table.
an artificially produced radioactive transuranium element in Group IVb of the periodic table, atomic number 104. Soviet scientists at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research at Dubna, Russia, U.S.S.R., announced in 1964 the discovery of element 104, which they named kurchatovium, symbol Ku (for Igor Kurchatov, a Soviet nuclear physicist). In 1969, a group of American researchers at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory of the University of California at Berkeley announced that they had identified isotopes of the element, different from the one identified by the Soviets; the Americans then proposed the name rutherfordium, in honour of the British physicist Ernest Rutherford