Curium was discovered in 1944, named in honour of Pierre and Marie Curie, the pioneers of the field of radioactivity. Curium, with a half-life of 18.12 years, is a byproduct of americium. The metal resembles its analog, gadolinium, in having a relatively high melting point and in its magnetic properties.

Shown above is a sample of curium hydroxide, the first know curium compound, collected in the bottom of a microcentrifuge tube.

BCIT Chemistry Resource Center