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Synthesis of element 120

  1. May 25, 2013 #1
    I've just been reading a little bit about attempts to create element 120 back in 2007. Do you guys think that it will be possible to create such an element?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 26, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Yes it would be - how long it will hold together is another issue.

    2011 attempt
    http://www-win.gsi.de/tasca/news/news_archive.htm [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  4. May 30, 2013 #3
    Here's a question: is there a minimum amount of time it has to be "stable" to be considered synthesized?

    Or even if the two parent elements are stuck together for 10^-44 seconds does it still count as synthesized? What are the exact requirements for it to be official?
     
  5. May 30, 2013 #4

    mfb

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    There is no obvious sharp line. In particle physics, the decay width has to be small compared to the mass, otherwise it is called a resonance (or not considered an object at all).
    It should be similar to use a similar criterion for nuclear physics, probably with the binding energy of the order of MeV (per nucleon) as reference.

    All discovered elements have isotopes which are long-living relative to that criterion.
     
  6. May 30, 2013 #5
    Ok, so I guess the general consensus is that it will be possible to synthesize the element, albeit the half life may be tiny (by the way, if the half life is less than a Planck time, is there any way we could know it formed?). Do you think this would be an ion with 118 electrons, our do you think that 2 more electrons could be added to another orbital?
     
  7. May 30, 2013 #6

    Bill_K

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    Did anyone actually say that? If you read the Wikipedia articles on production of superheavy elements, you'll be impressed with the great difficulties involved. Nothing is guaranteed!

    The Planck time is related to quantum gravity, not got anything to do with nuclear physics. The shortest time that a nuclide could be said to exist is about 10-23 sec, the time it takes light to cross a nuclear diameter. It would take this long for a nuclide to form after the collision.

    The production uses heavy ions as projectiles, e.g. Iron-58, so there would be fewer electrons present. The nuclear collision would be expected to strip any remaining electrons.
     
  8. May 30, 2013 #7

    mfb

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    If it is long-living enough, it can collect 120 electrons from the environment. For superheavy nuclei, the orbital structure changes significantly - it is unclear if element 118 behaves like a noble gas, so it is unclear if 120 would react similar to radium and barium.
     
  9. May 30, 2013 #8

    Simon Bridge

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    Well I said that it would be possible ... but I wouldn't say it is a general consensus.
    It's more like we proceed as if we knew it were possible, by the particular means used that time, and see what happens.
    What happens tells us stuff about the models we used - we build these super-heavy atoms, not for themselves, but to test our physics.

    So far we don't know that it isn't possible either... the consensus answer would be: "nobody knows".
     
  10. Oct 8, 2013 #9

    Astronuc

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