All You Need to Know about Bohrium

Bohrium is a synthetic chemical element represented using the symbol Bh. The atomic number of this metal is 107, and its name comes from the name of Niels Bohr, a physicist from Denmark. Niels Bohr, the leader in the field of quantum physics, has gained massive popularity for explaining atomic theory and structure. His innovative and useful work on atomic structure forms the basis of atomic physics. This synthetic element is not found abundantly in nature and is considered to be very solid and strong metal. Gottfried Münzenberg and Peter Armbruster discovered the metal in 1976.

It isn't easy to study Bohrium because it has a very short life span. Though it was discovered officially at the Institute for Heavy Ion research located in Germany in the year 1981, it was only in 2000 that a team of experts was able to come up with large amounts of this element for examining its physical and chemical properties. Longest isotopes of Bohrium are barely able to pass the 60-second mark while the heaviest ones are to decay very slowly. It is the low stability of Bohrium that makes it efficient to be used even outside the scientific research arena.

Bohrium Properties

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This image depicts the symbol of Bohrium. 

Bh element is categorised as a transition metal. Claims regarding the production of Bohrium first surfaced in 1976 in the USSR. However, a definite and verified synthesis was only accomplished in 1981 by a team of scientists at GSI, Darmstadt in Germany. It is a harmful metal owing to its radioactive nature. This synthetically produced radioactive element decays very fast by way of the emission of α-particles. Bohrium melting point and boiling point are unknown. Other properties include:

  • Solid key isotopes: 272Bh

  • Relative atomic weight: 270 g/mol-1

  • Atomic number: 107

  • Group: 7

  • Period: 7

  • Electron configuration: (Rn) 5f14 6d5 7s2

  • Form at room temperature: Solid

  • Element Classification: Metal

One crucial point to be noted about Bohrium is that it is radioactive and is produced artificially. The metal consists of approximately 10 isotopes. The isotope 270Bh is the most stable with a half-life of roughly 61 seconds. Here, it is worth noting that the atomic mass of any synthetic transuranium metal is wholly based on its longest-lived isotope in the periodic table. Atomic weights need to be considered the way they are arranged because new isotopes with longer half-lives are likely to come up. Speaking of the periodic table, Bohrium comes in the d-block category. It is a transactinide element belonging to the 7th period. Major experiments carried out in the field of chemistry have come up with confirmations of Bohrium being a heavier homolog in comparison to the rhenium element found in the same group.

Bohrium Uses

Bohrium was produced for the first time in the year 1976 by a group of scientists indulged in experiments and research at the Dubna Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia. Later, Gottfried Münzenberg and Peter Armbruster, along with their team, confirmed the appearance and the use of Bohrium in the year 1981. This happened at the Darmstadt Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung located in Germany. The element was manufactured artificially by bombarding the bismuth-209 target with chromium-54 ions. The most stable isotope of this metal in Bohrium-270 that has a half-life of around 61 seconds. It is the alpha decay procedure through which Bohrium decays and forms dubnium-266.

Since very few atoms of this metal have been made till date, presently, there are no special or exclusive uses of Bohrium out of the field of scientific research. Also, because it rarely exists in nature, Bohrium is just used by scientific researchers with no side effects and uses of the metal known to individuals and organisations.

Bohrium Sources

The sources of Bohrium are not known till date. It is a metal that is produced artificially and is made in minimal quantities. The team of scientists at Dubna created this element by bombarding the target bismuth-204 with the heavy ions of chromium-54. You can do it by using a fast rotating cylinder covered with a fragile coating of bismuth-204. The chamber was used in the form of a target. It was barraged utilising a stream of the ions of chromium-54 ablaze obliquely. The whole procedure gave scientists the chance of getting a glimpse of the whole now metal for approximately 0.0002 seconds.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Bohrium Isolation?

There are very few atoms of Bohrium 107 that have been made to date. The very first atoms were created by way of a nuclear reaction that involved the fusion of lead isotope, 209Pb with a chromium isotope, 54Cr. 

209Pb + 54Cr → 262Bh + 1n

The isolation of observable Bohrium quantity has not been accomplished yet because the element decays quite fast by way of the release of α-particles. Recently, in Switzerland, at Paul Scherrer Institute, other isotopes of the element have been produced.

2. How Does Bohrium React to Other Elements?

Since tiny quantities of this element have ever been created, its reactivity with air is still not known. However, its behaviour when it reacts with air is the same as that of technetium and rhenium. In the same way, its reactivity with water and halogens is also unknown. Nevertheless, there is some information available regarding the compounds of Bohrium. The binary compounds along with halogens or halides and oxygen or oxides from the major compounds of Bohrium, not to forget the hydrides. Other compounds of Bohrium include fluorides, chlorides, bromides, iodides, sulfides, nitrides, selenides and tellurides. Different complexes and carbonyls are also included in the table of compounds of Bohrium. So, though the element is rarely found in nature, its applications are being worked upon, and quite rapidly there would be significant advancements made in this field.