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Science

Long-lived Super Heavy Element Created 110

Posted by samzenpus
from the adamantium-anyone dept.
treeves writes "Radioactive nuclei that hang around for a mere half-minute before falling apart hardly seem stable. Yet compared with the fleeting lifetimes of their superheavy atomic neighbors, the roughly 30-second period that transpired from creation to disintegration of four atoms of a newly discovered isotope of element 108 qualifies those atoms as rock solid. Theoretical physicists predicted years ago that some nuclei of elements much more massive than uranium should survive for a relatively long time — possibly long enough to probe their chemical properties — if they could be synthesized. On the chart of nuclides, theoreticians pinpointed a region with coordinates corresponding to 114 protons and 184 neutrons and indicated that nuclei with those "magic" numbers of subatomic particles should lie at the center of an island of stability. The nuclear longevity, according to the models, is due to the closing of proton and neutron shells, which renders the particles stable against spontaneous fission much the same way that a filled outer electron shell endows noble gases with chemical inertness. Experimentalists, though, haven't yet found a route to reach the center of the island."
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Long-Lived Super Heavy Element Created

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  • oh man.... (Score:4, Funny)

    by WillDraven (760005) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @04:14AM (#17385304) Homepage
    Posted by samzenpus on Thursday December 28, @03:07AM

    It is the entirely wrong time of day to try to comprehend this one.

  • by macadamia_harold (947445) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @04:17AM (#17385316) Homepage
    Theoretical physicists predicted years ago that some nuclei of elements much more massive than uranium should survive for a relatively long time -- possibly long enough to probe their chemical properties -- if they could be synthesized

    In the year 3000, all they'd have to do is follow Nibbler around with a pooper scooper.
  • by iMySti (863056) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @04:19AM (#17385326)
    Now is your chance to get the super amazing "30 Seconds to Massive Biceps" weight training program, with new enhanced dumbbells! No refunds after product has stabilized.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 28, 2006 @04:48AM (#17385420)
    Hey, I'm alive! Wow! This is fun! I've got 114 protons... ...and 184 neutrons! I'm surrounded by high-energy beams,
    scientists, and a homolog. Uh, oh! Am I a volatile oxide?!
    No, way! I'm being swept in to a multistage chromatographic
    detector, which is cooled along its length in a gradient
    from room temperature at one end to -150 degrees Centigrade
    (at the other end). But I've done nothing wrong!!!
    Sure, I've got similar nuclear properties to Hs-269, but
    you've got the wrong isotope! Whoa, I'm feeling weird...
    Kind of, uh, uhn, un-s-s-stable... I'm definitely --
    KA-BOOOM!!!

    THE END...?

    (Coming up next: The somewhat longer, happier life of Gadolinium,
    or Osmium -- I'm not sure, because I know nothing about this
    part of the periodic table or nuclear physics!!! LOL!!!)

  • by tom17 (659054) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @05:04AM (#17385468) Homepage
    Oh no, not again
  • by MaGogue (859961) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @05:10AM (#17385478)

    Now, an international team of experimentalists has detected four of those atoms ... The team includes 24 scientists from 10 research institutions..


    Back when I was in high school, we'd have to share PC computers at 'computer science' classes, but 1 atom per six researchers.. er, couldn't we increase funding, or something?
  • by Walt Dismal (534799) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @06:15AM (#17385704)
    We of the planet Snogron do not find this funny. We based our entire civilization upon the use of these atomic variants, and up until the day a high schooler found out how to spontaneously detonate them using a tuning fork and a QonyPilgstation3, we were doing all right. But now the survivors of our fractured planet have spread across the universe to warn others. Do not meddle where the Almighty Spaghetti Monster cautions you not to tread! Physics is not for the foolhardy, the unwise, or people who live in Crawford, Texas! Or all three.
  • by S3D (745318) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @06:37AM (#17385768)
    So, how soon can we get Elerium-115 [wikipedia.org] and start building UFO Defence ?
  • Soon... (Score:2, Funny)

    by October_30th (531777) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @07:12AM (#17385914) Homepage Journal
    Soon we'll be able to build an anti-gravity machine like that in all the alien flying machines! Bring on the Element 115 [wikipedia.org].
  • Re:Soon... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Slashcrap (869349) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @07:46AM (#17386040)
    Soon we'll be able to build an anti-gravity machine like that in all the alien flying machines! Bring on the Element 115.

    Yeah, yeah, everyone thinks these super-heavy elements are going to have incredible properties (based on pretty much no scientific evidence). I think it's going to be awesome when they're finally synthesised and tested and the announcement reads, "We found they were all pretty much like lead, except a bit heavier. Oh, and they generate anti-gravity. No, only joking about the anti-gravity."
  • Great (Score:3, Funny)

    by Dunbal (464142) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @08:35AM (#17386242)
    Yet another new element to poison Russian spies with...
  • by Knutsi (959723) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @08:39AM (#17386256)
    In a recent press release, a major fast-food chain announced to have successfully created Long-lived Super Heavy Elements by changing the oil in their deep fryers to a healthier variety.
  • Re:sweet! (Score:3, Funny)

    by RobertB-DC (622190) * on Thursday December 28, 2006 @12:19PM (#17388200) Homepage Journal
    let's cover the next warzone with depleted Hassium !

    Sounds great, except that in the 30 seconds or so it took you to look at your battleground map, you'll have half as much Hassium as you started with...
  • by RealProgrammer (723725) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @01:50PM (#17389370) Homepage Journal

    I'm not a physicist, and barely remember the difference between protons and neutrons. Really. Probably it's the way they choose the names, having nothing to do with the physical properties of the elements, and not even sounding cool. I mean, Uranium, Plutonium, Titanium have cool names. Krypton -- cool name. "Carbon" is at least descriptive, deriving from the Latin for burning. I've always thought "Gold", "Iron", and "Lead" were onomatopoeic. And everyone knows that "Sodium" is Greek for "soda pop". Good names, all, and they don't sound phake and made up.

    But "Hassium"? "Bohrium"? Not cool, not descriptive. These are vanity names, like getting your name in a phony star registry, or some weak license plate, except it goes in the encyclopedia. Yes, I know there's this tradition for naming the radioactive ones after people, but that kind of thing ought to be left to the entomologists [uwyo.edu], hadn't it? I mean, what if there's a disaster, and Jonesium kills a bunch of people and gives the rest weird cancers? How will ol' Doc Jones feel about his legacy then, hmm? Better to be devoured by wasp larvae. So clearly, we need better, less risky names for these elements.

    Let's see, an element that sticks around for 30 seconds and then goes away. I believe I can come up with a few right here, even without some fancy-shmancy degree:

    It's a wonder they don't put me in charge of much here at the gas station.
  • by kfg (145172) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @02:55PM (#17390206)
    Plus you look pretty stupid pusing an atom around your desktop while making "Vroom, vroom" noises.

    KFG

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