Discovery of element 117
Oganessian, Yuri Ts. Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, Russian Federation.
Hamilton, Joseph H. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.
Utyonkov, Vladimir K. Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, Russian Federation.
- Nuclear shell model and magic numbers
- Island of stability
- Searches for heavy nuclei
- Production of berkelium-249
- Discovery experiment
- Chemical properties of heavy elements
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The discovery of new elements advances our understanding of the limits of the periodic table of the elements. The discovery of the new element with 117 protons described here is a significant advance in probing these limits. Each element is determined by the number of protons, given by symbol Z, inside its nucleus. The first element, with one proton, is hydrogen, and the last element found in nature is uranium, with 92 protons. Beginning in World War II, extensive searches were carried out to create new elements beyond uranium. The next two, with Z = 93 and 94, were discovered in the 1940s, and element 94, plutonium, played an important role as the fissile material in the first atomic bomb. By 1952, new elements through fermium (Z = 100) were discovered.
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