Post Tagged with: "element 114"

Element 114 is Confirmed

I finally got the green light to talk about element 114 publicly now that our confirmation paper is finally out.[PRL] Element 114 was first claimed to be synthesized by the Russians earlier this decade, but in order for IUPAC to recognize a new element it must be independently confirmed. Making new elements is no easy feat, it takes a lot of dedicated time at cyclotrons to perform these experiments. Because cyclotron time is so precious, it is difficult to get approval to do an experiment that simply proves an other research group’s results. Two of the main reasons we ran this experiment and got approval was to test our new plutonium target box setup and :ahem: disprove the Russians made these elements, but that is not what we observed.

The Russians have a history of publishing their results internally and not submitting their results to peer review. This creates internal reports that have results that sometimes contradict each other. However, in 2007 Orgenessian et. al published a summary of their results in the peer-reviewed Journal of Physics G.[JPhysG] They claim to have seen the following.


In summary they saw two isotopes of element 114, 286114 that decayed to element 112 and 287114 that also decayed to element 112 and then sometimes spontaneously fissioned or mostly decayed to element 110 (darmstadtium). Our own data showed that…


If you make an isotope like 287114 and observe it decay to the known elements 112 and then to darmstadtium, there is little doubt it exists.

Congratulations all around. Hopefully they propose a better name for element 114 that is less divisive than Kurchatovium, the name they proposed for element 104 after the Soviet atomic bomb project leader.

Link to Confirmation Paper: Independent Verification of Element 114 Production in the 48Ca+242Pu Reaction

Press Release: Superheavy Element 114 Confirmed: A Stepping Stone to the Island of Stability

Mitch

tl;dr Element 114 was made independently of the Russians and now they can name it.

By September 24, 2009 12 comments nuclear chemistry