If you do a quick Google search for the most expensive element in the world, one of the results will be californium-252 stone.
According to Hamza Al-Mustapha, a former Nigerian Army major and intelligence officer who served as General Sani Abacha’s Chief Security Officer, in an interview with the Brekete family, he said a California 252 stone was discovered in Borno state and is worth $27 million per gram.
In his other remarks in the viral video, he said that the element was the cause of insecurity and Boko Haram in Borno and other resource-rich northern territories.
The 62-year-old Major, while speaking, said Nigerians should visit Google and search for the price of californium-252 stone.
This article will discuss what californium-252 stone is, what it is used for, where it is discovered, how much it costs per gram, and whether californium stone is actually found in Borno, Nigeria.
WHAT IS CALIFORNIUM-252 STONE?
Californianium, which has the chemical symbol Cf and atomic number 98, is defined on Wikipedia as a radioactive chemical element. At Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which was then known as the University of California Radiation Laboratory, the element was initially created in 1950 by putting curium to an alpha particle bombardment (helium-4 ions).
It is an actinide element, the sixth transuranium element to be created through synthesis, and it has the second-highest atomic mass of all elements that have been created in quantities that are big enough to be seen with the unaided eye (after einsteinium). The institution and the American state of California were used as inspiration for the element’s names.
WHERE IS CALIFORNIUM STONE FOUND?
There is no such thing as Californium-252 in nature. As a result, it is typically created synthetically in labs for use in research and analysis procedures. Curium is used to produce Cf-252; a microgram of the substance is bombarded with alpha particles, resulting in the creation of 5,000 Cf-252 atoms.
HOW MUCH IS CALIFORNIUM PER GRAM?
Californium-252 can cost $27 million per gram, making it far more expensive than lutetium but less expensive than francium.
- Californianium is reportedly utilized in microgram amounts, according to Andrew Tinker on Quora.
- It would be incomparably valuable if you possessed something big enough to be called a “stone.”
- Additionally, the substance is very radioactive, so if the stone is bigger than a fraction of a gram, terrible things will happen.
- A 50 ton lead storage cask that can survive radioactivity of up to a gram is depicted in a lovely way on Wikipedia.
- The hypothetical one gram cube would be around four millimeters on a side with a density of about 15 grams per cubic centimeter (supposedly, world production is closer to 1/2 gram a year).
- That will be difficult to classify as a stone; it is more akin to a pebble or a grain of grainy sand.
DOES NIGERIA’S BORNO HAVE CALIFORNIUM?
Wikipedia states that only two locations produce Californium-252: the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors in Dimitrovgrad, Russia, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States.
Californianium is a transuranic element that was created artificially and is not found naturally, according to the well-known website report on Nature. It has twenty known isotopes and is a late actinide. In an experiment that employed a 60-inch cyclotron to blast targets made of curium-242 with helium ions, Glenn Seaborg and colleagues made the first official identification of it in February 1950.
That is to say, there isn’t anything like to Californium in Borno State because it has never been discovered naturally and is only produced in little amounts each year—a few grams. In particular for petroleum exploration and gold and silver prospecting, Californium is employed in portable neutron emitters as well as in diagnostic and prospecting equipment. Cancer can also be treated with it.