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Idea i got in honors chemistry

  1. Oct 28, 2014 #1
    im only 17 and have recently joined an honors chemistry class and i found that people are trying to make new elements. now i have already heard about this before but recently i have been interested. i dont know if this has been tried before i dont know but i was wondering if you take element 119 and you put it inside of something with a negative charge like a really strong one would it keep the element together for a longer period of time by like strengthening the atoms? i have been thinking about this for a while and i dont know im just curious.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 28, 2014 #2


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    What an interesting question! My first response was "of course not", but I did some research, and there's actually a paper about this!

    Not for super-heavies in particular, but the paper addresses the question of whether electron screening by embedding the isotope in metal can modify the alpha-decay lifetime of elements. The answer, it turns out is no. http://arxiv.org/pdf/nucl-th/0608049.pdf . It's a bit tricky, but from skimming the paper, it looks like the reduction in the alpha particle energy (which would increase the amount of time the superheavy element sticks together) is pretty much cancelled out with the reduction of the coulomb barrier height (which would decrease the amount of time the superheavy element sticks together), making the whole thing a wash.

    Notably, there are certain isotopes for which changing the negative charge (electrons) surrounding the nucleus changes the decay rate - nuclei which decay via electron capture - if there are no electrons around, they can't decay that way.

    And welcome to PF! Keep asking cool questions.
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