Or Sumonium, as it's a big fella.
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: …
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.
"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. :-)
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
This element may well not have lasted for a fraction of a second..
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.
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.
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".
-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.
If it is man made and horrendously unlikely to exist without massive cost or specific criteria, why is it on the table of elements? What next, compounds as well? The periodic table would never stop and all of these extra elements will never have a use in real life. Or be available to anyone in chemistry to work with to see if it can be used. Since 1940 have any of the new elements that are only man made been used to further existence, or even been recreated after the inital discovery and proof of concept tests?
As a graduate of Chemistry I am interested in new discoveries but just to get your name in the history books and proving you can is a little tedious to my mind. But I am not a chemist with access to unstable particle accelerators or reactors.
Besides what is the half life of it, what is the stable life span? Some of the newer exist for micro seconds.
They have already provided names up to 119. It was decided that they should not allow any personal or political affiliation naming in future (boo, hiss).
For reference, it is called Ununtrium (114 = Ununquadrium, 115 = Ununquintrium, 116 Ununhexium, 117 = Ununseptium, 118 = Ununoctrium, 119 = Ununontrium - from memory, which I have already proved today is failing.)
Not quite sure how they will fit it into Tom Lehrer's party piece. (http://www.rod.beavon.clara.net/lehrer_elements.htm)
I don't see why it has to end in -ium nor why it should be English.
Them being fond of their emperor, they'll probably name it after his reign — something like Heiseishinsoshi ( roughly, and probably poorly, translated as 'new element (discovered in the reign of the) Heisei (emperor) ).
Given the Japanese penchant for kawaiiiii, I'd like a name like 'omoiko' (heavy little child).
Esteemed Replier» Not sure where you get "heavy little child" omoi is heavy and ko is child.. surely if you were going for kawaii you would call it puyopuyo-ium or debu-ium (both on the fat/heavy theme).
Danierusan konnichi ha
Strictly speaking, I should've put brackets around the word 'little' and left it at 'heavy (little) child'. The Japanese do sometimes use word '-ko' * (meaning 'child') as a diminuative. Adverbs and adjectives like 'puyopuyo' tend to stand alone rather than in compounds. I could've also used the ending '-chan' but neither 'omochan' nor 'puyopuyochan' sound as good as 'omoiko'.
* Perhaps related ( for I am no scholar on Japanese etymology) is the fact one of the Japanese prefixes for small is 'ko-'. This is a different kanji — 'small', rather than 'child', but then, in Japan, the kunyomi (original Japanese reading) are older than the kanji.
Reliable sources whisper that Apple has been granted a patent for producing a phone using some "new" material.
So you got the picture now. Best of all, they whisper, is that the phone will magically transform into a Samsung unworkable phone filled with Apple patents.
Of course you newer know with reliable sources
The predicted "island of stability" is around 122 according to Marinov.
He claimed back in 2006 to have found evidence of a stable isotope with Z = 122 in natural thorium, but so far others searching for it have drawn a blank.
I theorised back in 2010 that elements heavier than Z=104 could maintain stability at very low temperatures, by phonon pair exchange within a superconducting lattice of lighter elements.
Essentially the superheavy nuclei maintain stability by exchanging their nuclear vibrations that normally tear the nucleus apart with lighter nuclei by phonon pair transfer through a superconducting lattice.
At very low (ie cryogenic) temperatures the half life of these elements could be in the 100M year range.. !
Someone needs to try this experiment, a simple way to prove their existence would be to heat up a rock sample containing heavy elements such as barium and thorium, and look for a sudden jump in neutron and/or gamma emissions.
May explain gamma ray flashes originating from high up in the atmosphere, as the particles heat up they "go normal" and the superheavies rapidly decay emitting gammas in the process.
Is there actually any purpose to this kind of research, beyond it being an academic exercise and providing a bit of mutual back-slapping for the scientific community?
From my layman's point of view, it seems akin to cutting a woman and a dolphin in half, sewing the top half of the woman to the bottom half of the dolphin and declaring that "behold" you've created a new form of life —even though it's not anything that can survive for more than a nanosecond, or will ever be found in nature.
It's not a dumb question.
There's a theory that atomic nuclei contain shells of particles akin to the shells of electrons which convey their chemical properties. As the shells in the nucleus fill up the atom should become more stable and will have a longer halflife than those with only partially filled shells.
This is why it is believed that heavier elements round about 120 will start showing longer half lives and form an 'island of stability'. Some of these elements might have half lives measured in years or even millions of years, so they might have some use.
There's also an interesting chemical question that these new elements should obey the rules of the Groups to which they belong. For instance element 117 (provisionally ununseptium) belongs to Group 17 - the halogens; whilst 118 (temporarily called ununoctium) *should* belong to Group 18 in the periodic table - the Noble gases. If these elements don't obey the rules predicted by their position in the Periodic Table then our understanding of the elements will need to be revised. And that is Nobel Prize territory.
Thanks for the concise, easy to understand explanation, Mike. I'd been wondering the same thing myself - why bother outside of the "because I can" explanation (and I am very pro pure-science research). That's actually quite a fascinating question; whether or not these 'superheavy' elements would behave as per their table grouping, if they could be produced in a stable form that didn't immediately self-destruct.
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