Scientists discover new heavy element

Posted on Thursday, October 19 2006 @ 13:12 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
A team of American and Russian scientists have discovered a new ultra-heavy element, which is the heaviest substance known to exist. The new element, No 118, is temporarily called Ununoctium and has been discovered following years of experiments in four continents.
The last naturally occurring element in the Periodic Table was discovered in 1925 and scientists have since been seeking to create new heavier elements.

Scientists working at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, developed the new element by bombarding californium with calcium ions to create 118.

This is the fifth ultraheavy element produced by the teams at the two research centers, which have been dominating in creating rare, short-lived elements.

Though they had produced three atoms of element 118, and each lasted for less than one-thousandth of a second, the team said there was less than one chance in 10,000 that there was a mistake in identification.

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