Post Tagged with: "Heino Nitsche"

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


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

By September 24, 2009 12 comments nuclear chemistry

New Isotope Discovery: Borhium-260

The discovery of a new isotope of Bohrium, by Nelson et al. (I’m a coauthor as well), was published yesterday in PRL. In total, 8 events of 260Bh were reported. Unfortunately, the new isotope is not long-lived enough to be of practical chemical interest. A summary of the decay properties is summarized in the Nuclear Trading Card format shown below.

Bohrium 260

The yellow color signifies the observation that it decays by alpha emission 100% of the time. The nuclide decays into 256Db, which is long-lived enough for chemistry, and the results taken with this paper and others updates the known decay properties of Dubnium-256. The updated trading card is below.


In this case the red signifies an ~30% electron capture branch. I hope you enjoy the announcement of a new member to the Bohrium family, and have fun with your new nuclear trading card.

Note 1: Link to article: Lightest Isotope of Bh Produced via the 209Bi(52Cr, n)260Bh Reaction

Note 2: Comments, if any, should be posted at the ACS-DNCT Blog


By January 15, 2008 0 comments nuclear chemistry