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Wednesday, 07 April 2010 23:28

New element discovered: Ununseptium


Even though the name ununseptium (symbol: Uus) is only temporary, Russian and U.S. scientists still have made an important discovery of a new chemical element, one with an atomic number of Z=117.


Parts of the discovery were made inside a particle accelerator in Dubna, Russia, during the time frame 2009-2010, when new element 117 was synthesized in the collision of isotopes of calcium (48Ca) and radioactive element berkelium (249Bk): in the reaction 249Bk + 48Ca.

Other aspects of the discovery was made in the United States'”at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, California), the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oakridge, Tennessee), Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee), and the University of Nevada (Las Vegas); and in Russia'”at the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (Dimitrovgrad).

Ununseptium (pronounced: oon-oon-SEPT-i-em) stands for 'one-one-seven-ium.'

According the April 6, 2010 New York Times article Scientists Discover Heavy New Element, 'A team of Russian and American scientists has discovered a new element that has long stood as a missing link among the heaviest bits of atomic matter ever produced. The element, still nameless, appears to point the way toward a brew of still more massive elements with chemical properties no one can predict.'

Information about this discovery has been collected in a paper that will be published in the journal Physical Review Letters. The paper will be entitled 'Synthesis of a new element with atomic number Z=117.'

The atomic number (Z) is the number of protons found in the nucleus of an atom. In the case of Uus, that number is 117.


Page two continues.


The Russian-U.S.A. team produced six atoms of ununseptium. Five of the six atoms contained 176 neutrons (293Uus, with 117 protons and 176 neutrons) and one of the six had 177 neutrons (294Uus, with 117 protons and 177 neutrons).


The New York Times article adds, 'Data collected by the team seem to support what theorists have long suspected: that as newly created elements become heavier and heavier they will eventually become much more stable and longer-lived than the fleeting bits of artificially produced matter seen so far.'

U.S. chemist Dawn A. Shaughnessy, from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Russian nuclear physicist Yuri Oganessian, from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, U.S. physicist Joseph Hamilton, from Vanderbilt University, U.S. physicist Jim Roberto, from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and U.S. radiochemist Kenton Moody, from Lawrence Livermore National Laborabory are some of the authors of the study.

Check out the YouTube video: 'Ununseptium - Periodic Table of Videos.'


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