One of the elements of the actinide group, Californium was first synthesized on approximately February 9, 1950 by researchers at the University of California. After checking and replicating the initial experiment, its discovery was announced a month later, and the element named for the university (and state) where it had been created.
Unusually for a synthetic element, it was later discovered in naturally occurring forms, albeit as a result of extremely rare phenomena. Californium also has practical uses, notably in initiating nuclear reactions and in the creation of higher elements – ununoctium (element 118) was synthesized by bombarding californium-249 atoms with calcium-48 ions
Einsteinium is a completely artifical element (atomic number 99) with a very short half-life (a about 1 and a third years). It was first discovered in the fallout from the detonation of the world’s first hydrogen bomb, code Ivy Mike, detonated at Enewetak Atoll on November 1, 1952.
As a trans-uranic element, it is extremely radioactive. It has no known applications other using it to develop other extremely radioactive trans-uranic elements with even higher atomic numbers – so far, it has been employed successfully in the creation of mendelevium (atomic number 101) and unsuccessfully in the attempted creation of ununennium (atomic number 119).
Nobelium is a trans-uranic element whose atomic number is 102. A radioactive metal, it was first created in April 1958 by a team at the University of California’s Berkeley campus. The members of the team were Albert Ghiorso, Torbjorn Sikkeland, John R. Walton and Glenn Seaborg.
They named the newly discovered element after Alfred Nobel, which may or may not have been intended as a tiny hint to the Nobel Prize Committee. There is some controversy regarding this date, with several different teams claiming to have discovered Nobelium at different times, but this one seems to be the most commonly cited.