Scientists from the Glenn T. Seaborg Institute and the Chemical Biology and Nuclear Science Division at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia (JINR), have discovered the two newest super heavy elements, element 113 and element 115.
Left: An accelerated calcium-48 ion and an americium-243 target atom just before they collide.
Right: The moment of collision between an accelerated calcium-48 ion and an americium-243 target atom.
Left: The residue of the collision creates the new 115 element that begins decaying with the emission of alpha particles into element 113.
Right: The spontaneous fission decay eventually results in two separate atoms of previously known elements.
In experiments conducted at the JINR U400 cyclotron with the Dubna gas-filled separator between July 14 and Aug. 10, 2003, the team of scientists observed atomic decay patterns, or chains, that confirm the existence of element 115 and element 113. In these decay chains, element 113 is produced via the alpha decay of element 115.
The results have been accepted for publication in the Feb. 1, 2004 issue of Physical Review C. "These elemental discoveries underscore both the value of federally-supported basic research and the benefit of unfetteredinternational scientific collaboration," Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham said. The experiments produced four atoms each of element 115 and element 113 through the fusion reaction of calcium-48 nuclei impinging on an amercium-243 target.
Anne Stark | LLNL
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