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Japan Science

Japanese Scientists Produce Element 113 150

Third Position writes "The most unambiguous data to date on the elusive 113th atomic element has been obtained by researchers at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-based Science (RNC). A chain of six consecutive alpha decays, produced in experiments at the RIKEN Radioisotope Beam Factory (RIBF), conclusively identifies the element through connections to well-known daughter nuclides. The search for superheavy elements is a difficult and painstaking process. Such elements do not occur in nature and must be produced through experiments involving nuclear reactors or particle accelerators, via processes of nuclear fusion or neutron absorption. Since the first such element was discovered in 1940, the United States, Russia and Germany have competed to synthesize more of them. Elements 93 to 103 were discovered by the Americans, elements 104 to 106 by the Russians and the Americans, elements 107 to 112 by the Germans, and the two most recently named elements, 114 and 116, by cooperative work of the Russians and Americans. With their latest findings, associate chief scientist Kosuke Morita and his team at the RNC are set follow in these footsteps and make Japan the first country in Asia to name an atomic element."
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Japanese Scientists Produce Element 113

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  • Re:What for? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @06:08PM (#41470237)

    Any "island of stability" super-heavy elements would find novel uses in chemistry (the very high distance of the outer valences from the neucleus would most probably make them very electropositive, though the potential for "very very inert" super-heavy elements also exists, which would make them useful in other ways.) The intense mass energy in them would make for some interesting experiments involving neutron capture and proton exposure. Depending on the behavior of the isotope in question, it could make a very useful radiation shielding material.

    Assuming of course, such island of stability isotopes exist outside of bizzare cases where gravity holds them together. (Like neutron stars)

    Then again, you can't beat the novelty of a 100kg weight the size of a golfball sitting on your desk either. :D

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