How Much Does Einsteinium Cost?

Written by: Staff

Einsteinium, named after Albert Einstein, was the seventh synthetic transuranium element in the actinide series to be discovered.  It is a radioactive metal with just a few milligrams of it being made every year from the plutonium in the nuclear reactors.  It was discovered within the debris from the initial thermonuclear explosion that took place on a South Pacific atoll on November 1, 1952.

Einsteinium can be obtained in milligram amounts from neutron bombardment of plutonium.

How much does the element einsteinium cost?

Einsteinium is so rare that it is not sold on the open market.  Besides scientific research, this element has no other known uses.  Because Einsteinium does not occur naturally, it is made synthetically.  So far, only small amounts of the element have been made.  Its longest-lived isotope, the Es 254, had a half-life of 276 days.  Einsteinium is the element having the highest atomic number that has been observed in macroscopic amounts in its pure form. This was the common short-lived isotope Es-253.  Like all synthetic transuranic elements, Einsteinium isotopes are extremely radioactive and are therefore considered highly dangerous to health upon exposure or ingestion.

Einsteinium is not a commercial product; however, there are reports of Einsteinium fetching over $27 million per gram.

Einsteinium facts

Einsteinium is a silvery, soft, paramagnetic metal.  It is a radioactive transuranic element that is synthesized through neutron irradiation of plutonium or other elements.  The longest-lived isotope of Einsteinium is Es 254 with a half-life of 275 days.

It has the atomic number 99 and a melting point of 860C.  It was identified by Albert Ghiorso and his co-workers at Berkeley, California, in December 1952 within debris taken from the initial thermonuclear or hydrogen bomb explosion in the South Pacific.  The fallout material, isolated from a neighboring atoll, was then sent to Berkeley for analysis and was examined by a team that was composed of Gregory Choppin, Albert Ghiorso, Bernard Harvey, and Stanley Thompson.  The Einsteinium that was isolated had formed after some uranium atoms captured numerous neutrons and had gone through some series of capture and decay steps, thereby resulting in Einsteinium-253 that has a half-life of 20.5 days.

Enough Einsteinium had been collected by 1961 to be visible to the naked eye, and then weighed, even though the element amounted to just 10 millionths of a gram.

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