back to article Japanese boffins unfurl banner above newly-discovered Element 113

Japanese scientists are chuffed to bits to announce that they have discovered the so-far undiscovered superheavy element with atomic number 113, and have staked a claim to naming it - and so joining the big leagues of element-finding boffinry nations. According to a statement issued by the Japanese research institute RIKEN: …

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  1. FartingHippo
    Coat

    Karatonium?

    Or Sumonium, as it's a big fella.

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  2. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Japan the first country in Asia to name an atomic element.

    Isn't Russia in Asia too?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Japan the first country in Asia to name an atomic element.

      Russia is everywhere - big place.

    2. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Japan the first country in Asia to name an atomic element.

      Clearly physics, not geography, is what RIKEN is good at.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Japan the first country in Asia to name an atomic element.

        Insert obligatory iOS6 maps joke here.

  3. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Boffin

    Element 119 and beyond?

    What have they got against 115?

    1. David Pollard

      Re: Element 119 and beyond? Islands of stability ...

      What have they got against 115? It's rather what nature has got against them.

      It's necessary first to find a combination of neutrons and protons that will be sufficiently stable that it lasts long enough to be detected and then to find two isotopes which are available in sufficient quantities and at affordable price that can be combined to make it.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_of_stability

      1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        Island on stability ...

        Where I read:

        > Such elements do not occur in nature and must be produced through accidents involving nuclear reactors.

        And got a picture of a deep sea fisherman on a beach somewhere east of Fukujimmy landing his next meal and realising it was already cooked.

      2. Dave the Cat
        Thumb Up

        Re: Element 119 and beyond? Islands of stability ...

        @ David Pollard,

        Thanks for the link, really interesting article. I don't pretend to understand half of it but interesting none-the-less. This is why I love el reg!

        Thanks.

      3. Michael Strorm

        Re: Element 119 and beyond? Islands of stability ...

        "and then to find two isotopes which are available in sufficient quantities and at affordable price that can be combined to make it."

        Given that this experiment involved firing zinc ions (element 30) at bismuth (element 83), am I safe in assuming that it was a simple case of 30 + 83 = 113 protons for the new element?

        And that if we wanted to create element 115 by firing zinc ions in the same way, then the other element used would have to be element 85, i.e. Astatine? That is, an element that doesn't exist naturally, only via radioactive decay of other elements, is incredibly unstable in its own right- its longest-lived isotope has a half-life of 8.5 hours- and that has never been seen by the naked eye because (according to Wikipedia) "a mass large enough [for that] would be immediately vaporized by the heat generated by its own radioactivity".

        Yes, I can see that this would make astatine *slightly* more difficult to work with in a similar setup than bismuth. :-)

        Of course, I guess they could try other combinations of elements- they'd have to- but assuming I got that correct, I guess it illustrates your second point quite well. :-)

        1. dssf
          Joke

          Re: Element 119 and beyond? Islands of stability ...

          Well, as long as they do not do something incredibly or end-credibility-stupid with Astatine and drop two Ts and create massively deadly radiation along the way, then they won't create a dubious new element: ASININE????

          sorry.... Could.. Not... Re... Cyst my elemental silliness, hahahaha

    2. S4qFBxkFFg
      Alien

      Re: Element 119 and beyond?

      We need to wait until a reasonably intact UFO can be acquired for research.

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    3. Ole Juul Silver badge

      Re: Element 119 and beyond?

      What have they got against 115?

      Probably nothing. They've just been watching Firefox's success with version numbers.

      1. HMB
        Alert

        Re: Element 119 and beyond?

        This element may well not have lasted for a fraction of a second..

        http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Isotopes_and_half-life.svg&page=1

        From what we have seen so far, the heavier you go past a certain point, the less and less time it takes before the element decays.

        Let's imagine that for some weird reason aliens had made a UFO out of element 120.

        Ok, the time I just said to say OK and for you to think about it, the elements already gone. Even better, it irradiated the area as it did so. If we had a large mass of this and you were standing right next to it, well, I think it would be fatal. I think that's a fairly safe thing to say. It's going to be hotter than freshly extracted used nuclear fuel.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Element 119 and beyond?

          If it was emitting alpha particles it'd only be dangerous if you were leaning on it or had swallowed it (cue story about small dog and alien invasion taskforce)

  4. jai

    please don't let them call it unobtainium!

  5. TRT Silver badge

    Godzillium!

    FTW.

    1. Dave the Cat
      Thumb Up

      Re: Godzillium!

      Like it!

    2. Robert E A Harvey

      Re: Godzillium!

      That's even better than my Godzilla-based joke!

    3. Fred Goldstein
      Happy

      Re: Godzillium!

      That's the western version. The actual Japanese name of the monster was Gojira. And Gojirium sounds even better.

  6. TeeCee Gold badge
    Coat

    Missed a trick.

    "...slapping their foreheads in amazement at not thinking of such a basic ploy."

    I can't help thinking that "elementary" would have been better than "basic" in this context. Possibly with an appended "(hah!)"......

    1. Arctic fox
      Holmes

      Perhaps it might be, "Elementary my dear TeeCee".

      See Icon.*

      *This icon was selected for the sake of the quotation in the title and the literary reference therein. No sarcasm was intended or deployed during the uploading of this posting.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Headmaster

    "they have discovered the so-far undiscovered "

    Is that down to some special properties of the element in question? ;)

  8. An ominous cow herd

    It shall be called "Ununtrium"

    Or maybe it should be "Hyakujūsanium", for it's japanese origin?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It shall be called "Ununtrium"

      If it has a short half-life then I would suggest WhereTheFucksItGone'ium

  9. I think so I am?

    half life?

    If its unstable, does it really count as an element if it just quickly turns into another element?

    1. Ru
      Boffin

      Re: half life?

      Yes.

    2. Silverburn

      Re: half life?

      Yes.

      You're maybe thinking of whether it should be called an element if it cannot survive in natural conditions...anywhere in the universe.

  10. Ole Juul Silver badge

    113 elements

    ought to be enough for anybody.

  11. NoneSuch
    Angel

    Sorry, but...

    Everything since the Fifth Element has not been as interesting. Mmmmmm, Milla....

  12. g e

    Nipponite

    I thank you

    (Or Nipponium if it has to be -ium on the end)

  13. David Pollard
    Pint

    Nuclear chemistry

    Bravo. It's good to see Japan at the forefront of research into nuclear chemistry.

    I hope Reg readers will also join in a toast to Riken for the good work that they did following the tsunami and Fukushima accident. Riken staff measured radiation levels in various locations and provided a dependable summary.

    1. Blue eyed boy
      Happy

      Re: Nuclear chemistry

      There we are - fukushinium.

  14. Stretch

    I name element 125 Slagium. Live with it.

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      In that case ...

      I'd like to name element 127 Nybalium. In order of all the geeks who have helped with the processing of the data.

  15. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Mushroom

    If they really wanted to create an explosive atmosphere

    Sukakuium would be the name of choice

    In Chinese textbooks that would have to become Diaoyuium

  16. banjomike
    Thumb Up

    Kamikazium.

    Origamium.

    1. TRT Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Kamikazium.

      WW3 fought through science. The predicted atomic war.

      Pearlharbonium. Then the next once discovered by the US will probably be named Hiroshimite.

      I like the sound of Narutonium though.

      Fukushimite?

      I don't know. We'll wait and see!

  17. Richard Wharram
    Paris Hilton

    Bukakium ?

    Obviously

    1. Toastan Buttar
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Bukakium ?

      Ashamed to say, that was exactly my first thought.

    2. bugalugs

      Re: Bukakium ?

      comes and goes quickly

  18. Gary F

    And the purpose of this element is...?

    Why haven't they named it Japanite?

    1. Ru
      Meh

      Re: And the purpose of this element is...?

      Its purpose, like that of so much other research, is to be one of the foundations upon which greater projects may be built. Shoulders of giants and all that.

      There are two reasons it is not called Japanite. Firstly, elements are generally suffixed with '-ium', as that is what IUPAC likes. Secondly, they wouldn't use "Japanium" for the same reason an element discovered in the UK is unlikely to be called "Angleterrium" or "Großbrittanium".

      1. EvilGav 1
        Holmes

        Re: And the purpose of this element is...?

        But they did call it Americium . . .

        1. Dave the Cat
          Go

          Re: And the purpose of this element is...?

          I think that probably says more about America's over-inflated sense of self-importance than anything else.... ;-)

          1. Yag

            Re: And the purpose of this element is...?

            Don't forget about Francium and Germanium...

            Gallium may qualify too, Gallus meaning Gaul (and rooster) in latin.

      2. Dave Walker
        Happy

        Re: And the purpose of this element is...?

        Me thinks the poster meant "why would they use a non-Japanese name for Japan in the title" ergo perhaps (since I can't type in Kanji) it would be "Nihonium"?

        maybe?

        Anyone?

        1. Daniel Palmer

          Re: And the purpose of this element is...?

          -ium is transliterated to umu in Japanese .. i.e. Calcium is karushiumu (カルシウム) and sodium is sojiumu (ソジウム)so it would be nihonnumu or I would guess nipponnumu. (double nn == ん otherwise you would get ぬ). There are "proper" kanji words for some of the elements.. but not being a science bod I don't know when you would use one or the other. Looking at my dictionary though some common compounds use the kanji word for one part and the transliterated English or German for other parts.

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