Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Science News

Copernicium Confirmed As Element 112 183

Several sources are reporting that the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry has confirmed Copernicium as element 112 on the periodic table of elements with the symbol Cn. "The naming of the new element will be the culmination of a long, fraught journey involving fierce competition, dashed hopes, clever detective work and even a brush with scientific misconduct. With a nucleus containing 112 protons — 20 more than uranium, the heaviest of the naturally occurring elements — it will be the weightiest atom whose existence has been confirmed so far."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Copernicium Confirmed As Element 112

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @05:51PM (#31265170)


  • Re:On Earth (Score:3, Interesting)

    by reverseengineer ( 580922 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @06:01PM (#31265338)
    And (even more minor quibble) it's not even technically true that uranium is the heaviest naturally occurring element on earth. Trace amounts of some transuranic elements are found in deposits of uranium ore, particularly at the natural nuclear reactor at Oklo, Gabon as a result of neutron irradiation of uranium, the same principle as used in breeder reactors.
  • Re:On Earth (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wizardforce ( 1005805 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @06:17PM (#31265562) Journal

    Except that the larger elements have much shorter half-lives. Unless there's a stable (or nearly so) element, we won't find anything hiher than ~Americium we won't find a quantity of higher elements worth mentioning. Uranium is the heaviest element in nature in any quantity (Plutonium and Americium occur in trace quantities due to spontaneous fission and the neutron irradiation that results) Supernovae and black holes might have the conditions neccessary to forge super heavy elements but the stability of these elements is the real problem.

  • Re:But But but (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @06:30PM (#31265754)

    Yeah, I've used Unobtainium for years, and everyone here at work knows what's meant. (Admittedly, I'm an Engineer.) Okay, not quite true, as two foreign Engineers didn't know what it was.

    In Avatar, Unobtanium was the McGuffin -- it didn't matter what it was, just that there was a reason that Homo Sapiens was on a different, hostile planet that wasn't for xenorelations. Water's plentiful on comets, any minerals would be easier to get from asteroids, since there's way less of a gravity well, and so the only reason we'd be there is either to talk to aliens or to get a rare material.

    A room-temperature superconductor is pretty much the Holy Grail of Physics.

    It doesn't explain why the humans didn't just take the mountains and / or use orbital bombardment.

  • by barath_s ( 609997 ) <> on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @10:26PM (#31267760)
    uranium, the heaviest of the naturally occurring elements

    Uranium Density = 19.05 g/cc

    Osmium Density = 22.59 g/cc Lanthanide contraction []

    Iridium Density = 22.56 g/cc

    Naturally occurring mineral : Chengdeite : Ir3Fe (an Alloy) Density = 19.3 g/cc

    Though Elemental Platinum also occurs in nature and has a density = 21.09

    We need a better wording than heavy for most protons in nucleus. How about uranium, the most protonic naturally occurring element.

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer