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[mass noun] The chemical element of atomic number 96, a radioactive metal of the actinide series. Curium does not occur naturally and was first made by bombarding plutonium with helium ions.
- ‘Release of plutonium, americium and curium could occur from laboratory or industrial accidents.’
- ‘All isotopes of curium are radioactive with curium - 247 having the longest half life, about 16 million years.’
- ‘It is prepared artificially by bombarding curium with alpha particles in a particle accelerator.’
- ‘Kept secret until after the war, they were respectively called americium and curium.’
- ‘The lifetimes of the first ‘transuranium’ elements - such as plutonium, curium and californium - were very close to the values predicted by the liquid-drop model.’
1940s: modern Latin, from the name of Marie and Pierre Curie.
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The definitions of ‘buddy’ and ‘bro’ in the OED have recently been revised. We explore their history and increase in popularity.