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SuperHeavy Elements

  1. Jan 3, 2007 #1
    Stable SuperHeavy Elements

    I'd read that a new "island of stability" of long-lived SuperHeavy elements is about to be reached.


    The recent synthesis of Hassium-270 showed a surprisingly pleasant half-life of 30 seconds. That's pretty fabulous for something that has an atomic number of 108. These nifty long half-lives are due to the proximity to the ever-important magic numbers for nuclear stability.

    The Superheavy element Unbihexium-310, having atomic number 126, is predicted to have a half-life of millions of years, due to its being "doubly magic" because of the closed neutron and proton shells.


    I wonder what novel scientific or engineering applications could benefit from a Superheavy element such as this? Radiation shielding, due to its larger nucleus? Perhaps quantum computing or superconductivity?

    If they ever have to come up with a formal name for Unbihexium, I would recommend the name "Lexium" as an homage to the fictional mad scientist who is Superman's arch-enemy. And this is because atomic number 126 was designated by Action Comics as the atomic number for Kryptonite, which is dangerous to Superman.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 3, 2007 #2
    I second that!

    It would be amazing if we could synthesize elements with higer atomic numbers, surely they will have interesting properties.
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