Question #2505c

1 Answer
Dec 19, 2014

Actually, the Russian researchers that first reported the detection of element 104 (later named Rutherfordium) used a different reaction; they bombarded a plutonium-242 target with neon-22 ions and separated the reaction products by gradient thermochromatography after conversion to chlorides by interaction with #ZrCl_4#.

(242/94)Pu + (22/10)Ne -> ((264-x)/104)Rf -> ((264-x)/104)#RfCl_4#

The reaction your equation describes was set up in 1969 at the University of California, Berkley; scientists here bombarded a californium-249 target with carbon-12 ions and measured the alpha decay of #257Rf#, correlated with the daughter decay of nobelium-253

(249/98)Cf + (12/6)C -> (257/104) Rf + 4n

So, to answer your question, four neutrons were generated in this reaction.

More on Rutherfordium here: