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How the 3 atoms of Ununoctium were produced?

  1. Mar 10, 2013 #1
    Wikipedia says that only 3 atoms of Ununoctium ever existed? How can you detect such a tiny quantity of something? How can you distinguish an elements with an half-life of about 0.9 ms or less?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2013 #2

    mfb

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    Staff: Mentor

    The decays are the key: they have a very specific energy, and this can be measured. In addition, the resulting nuclei are unstable as well, and decay with another, known energy. This repeats until the nuclei are so long-living that you cannot correspond their decay with the initial produced atom any more. You can identify the isotopes via their decay chains.
    It would be extremely difficult to detect the production of a stable nucleus.
     
  4. Mar 10, 2013 #3

    Astronuc

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    Some background on producing the superheavy elements from transuranic precursors.

    http://www.webelements.com/ununoctium/

    http://www.ornl.gov/ornlhome/news_items/news_100407.shtml [Broken]

    http://neutrons.ornl.gov/conf/TRTR_IGORR/TechnicalSessions/1_Welcoming%20Session/Roberto_Presentation_TRTR%20IGORR_10.pdf [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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