96 - Curium

A piece of metallic curium, above a separate piece of sulfur, in a quartz capillary tube. (1)

A 3 g pellet of curium-242 and americium-241 oxides, prepared at Oak Ridge.
The sample is incandescent and glows due to the energy of its radioactive decay. (2)

The first curium compound, curium-242 hydroxide, isolated in 1947.
The precipitation is distributed throughout the solution in the capillary tube. (3)

Back to elements

1 - http://www.chemie-master.de/. Photo credited to A. Kronenberg, http://www.kernchemie.de/.
2 - "Matter", Ralph E. Lapp and the editors of LIFE, LIFE Science Library. A newer edition than 1965, I don't know which year. "Progress Beyond Plutonium", G. T. Seaborg, circa 1965, has a description of this pellet. Thanks to David Keim for that reference.
3 - "Man-Made Transuranium Elements", G. T. Seaborg, Prentice-Hall, 1963. The 1965 Life book also used this picture. Confusingly, they used only the tip of this picture, the part at the bottom right of the full photo, which made it seem like the spot near the round curve at the bottom of the tube was the sample, rather than the precipitate that fills much of the tube.
4 - http://www.niiar.ru/drsp/en/ac244d.htm - A commercial curium-244 source.