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Element 114 Verified 142

ExRex writes "A team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has observed the production of superheavy element 114, confirming the results of researchers at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia. Those researchers first reported producing element 114 in 1999. Such independent verification is important, particularly given the evidence of fabricated results for other superheavy elements. If you're a subscriber to Physical Review Letters, you can download the full article."
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Element 114 Verified

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @01:48AM (#29819847)

    Why don't we see Plutonium or Neptunium in nature? Because despite there being "stable" isotopes with half-lives measured in millions of years, the age of the Earth is several orders of magnitude greater than that. Any isotope with a half-life less than about 30 million years would be completely decayed over the current age of the Earth (~4.5 billion years), even if it began as abundant as Iron (nearly 1/3 of Earth's mass) not a single atom would remain today.

    The isotopes in the "island of stability" would be far too short lived to exist on Earth from natural production.

  • by ndogg ( 158021 ) <the.rhorn@gma i l . c om> on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @05:06AM (#29820731) Homepage Journal

    And that's why I want to be a mathematician. For the ladies!

    They love it when I integrate with them. And months after that, we'll derive!

    And years later, we'll try to figure out why nothing has changed.

You should never bet against anything in science at odds of more than about 10^12 to 1. -- Ernest Rutherford