Chemical Manufacturing Blog

Chemical Manufacturing

The Chemical Manufacturing Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about process equipment and control, biotech & environmental, specialty chemicals and nano-engineering. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

Previous in Blog: Spurring Science Success via Stimulus   Next in Blog: Synthetic Diamonds: A Forgotten Material?
Close
Close
Close
12 comments

New Element Makes Periodic Table

Posted June 15, 2009 2:00 AM by Sharkles

It's been five years since the last element was added to the periodic table, but that's changing with element 112.

A yet-to-be-named "super-heavy" element will be joining the 117 other elements on the periodic table. The newest addition was first fused in 1996 by a team at the GSI Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany. The researchers were able to create the atom again in 2000.

While both feats were impressive, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) requires the experiment to be successfully performed by another group, preferably an independent team. In 2004, researchers at RIKEN in Japan were successful in recreating the atom.

About Element 112
Element 112 has an atomic mass of 277 and is the sixth super-heavy element discovered at GSI since 1981. To create 112, German scientists used a 120-metre long particle accelerator to fire "5 billion billion (5 x 1018)" zinc ions at 30,000 kilometers per second at a target made of lead for a three-week period.

The first glimpse at 112 lasted for only a third of a millisecond, until it decayed first into element 110 (darmstaditium) and then into four different short-lived elements until researchers lost its trail at element 110 (fermium).

After its initial discovery, other scientists had a hard time recreating element 112 and prove its existence. Since then, only four atoms of element 112 have been observed – enough to gain acceptance into the periodic table.

Naming 112
Since GSI created element 112 first, they get to choose the name, which then has to go through the IUPAC for approval. Although they'll be deliberating about the name for the next few weeks, Sigurd Hoffman, leader of the GSI team, has given a clue about the group's possible direction. "I think we will try to find somebody who makes big contribution to the thinking of mankind and who has had cultural influence," he said.

"A Friendly Competition"
Element 112 is one of 22 man-made elements. Since the discovery of the last naturally-occurring atom in 1925, scientists in Germany, the United States, Japan, and Russia have competed to discover more. Today, a friendly competition continues.

Although 112 will be known as the heaviest element for now, researchers worldwide are striving for even heavier elements. ""The aim is to find the end of the periodic table…you can't say where it is until you have tried," says Hoffman.


Resources:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2009/06/12/zinc-lead-new-superheavy-addition-to-the-periodic-table/

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17297-first-new-element-for-five-years-makes-periodic-table.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg14920190.700-the-short-exciting-life-of-element-112.html

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru
Hobbies - Musician - Engineering Fields - Chemical Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Instrumentation Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Moses Lake, WA, USA, Thulcandra - The Silent Planet (C.S. Lewis)
Posts: 4216
Good Answers: 194
#1

Re: New Element Makes Periodic Table!

06/15/2009 8:53 AM

What I'd like to know is how is this useful? Spending billions of dollars to create a substance that you can't use doesn't seem wise to me. Sure, the things learned in the process can have some merit, but in my opinion, not nearly enough.

__________________
"Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone." - Ayn Rand
Reply
Guru
United States - Member - New Member Engineering Fields - Electrical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1152
Good Answers: 36
#2

Re: New Element Makes Periodic Table!

06/15/2009 9:02 AM

I am slightly annoyed at some of these additions to the periodic table that can only be viewed for a short period of time. Since they decay so fast, what is the point of even acknowledging their existence unless a good use comes from it? Some may study this new element, but most will go on to try and create the next super-heavy element. Perhaps there should be an additional criteria for new elements?

Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: South Africa - Centurion.
Posts: 280
Good Answers: 3
#3

Re: New Element Makes Periodic Table

06/15/2009 10:03 AM

So 112 is the heaviest element!?

Wrong: Last December a heavier element was created. It was not lead that was bombarded for three weeks but silicon.

My wife took my credit card last Christmas and it was swiped through a little credit card machine, non-stop for three weeks. Believe me, currently that is the heaviest element known to me…

__________________
Dreams are the blue print for reality.
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Musician - Engineering Fields - Chemical Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Instrumentation Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Moses Lake, WA, USA, Thulcandra - The Silent Planet (C.S. Lewis)
Posts: 4216
Good Answers: 194
#4
In reply to #2

Re: New Element Makes Periodic Table!

06/15/2009 6:26 PM

Hi Jaxy,

Since they decay so fast, what is the point of even acknowledging their existence unless a good use comes from it?

I agree completely.

Mike

__________________
"Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone." - Ayn Rand
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hemel Hempstead, UK
Posts: 5418
Good Answers: 293
#5

Re: New Element Makes Periodic Table

06/16/2009 5:39 AM

Clearly it should be called ephemeralium.

__________________
We are alone in the universe, or, we are not. Either way it's incredible... Adapted from R. Buckminster Fuller/Arthur C. Clarke
Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1601
Good Answers: 57
#6

Re: New Element Makes Periodic Table

06/16/2009 7:58 AM

A small number correction. 5E18 is 5 billion billion. You need to repeat the billion to get the exponent 18.

Reply
Guru
United States - Member - New Member Engineering Fields - Mechanical Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Petroleum Engineering - New Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Spring, Texas
Posts: 3403
Good Answers: 149
#7

Re: New Element Makes Periodic Table

06/16/2009 9:33 AM

Mikerho and Jaxy, the point is that it is expected that there is an "island of stability" where some of these superheavy synthetic elements yet to be discovered are stable. In fact there might just be isotopes of element 112 that are more stable than the one that was discovered. And just because these elements are not naturally occurring here on earth, that is not to say that they might not be naturally occurring in the cores of supermassive stars and such, if possibly only for short periods of time.

__________________
Who is John Galt?
Reply
Guru
United States - Member - New Member Engineering Fields - Electrical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1152
Good Answers: 36
#8
In reply to #7

Re: New Element Makes Periodic Table

06/16/2009 10:31 AM

My qualms do not lie within a synthetic versus naturally occurring debate. My problem is that the research to figure out it exists may be for nothing if more research isn't done to find a useful facet for this discovery. I am afraid that the research will desire quantity over quality. In another words, I believe that research is sometimes more interested in the sheer number of new discoveries than in the deeper exploration into one single discovery. I just wish that more research was done on this element so we could know more about it, other than it exists.

Reply
Commentator
Popular Science - Cosmology - New Member United States - Member - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Dublin, GA, USA
Posts: 69
#9
In reply to #6

Re: New Element Makes Periodic Table

06/16/2009 1:17 PM

Good catch!

I wonder how long it took the grad students to count and transfer all those tiny buggers into the beakers? :)

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Tech Valley, NY
Posts: 3546
Good Answers: 15
#10
In reply to #6

Re: New Element Makes Periodic Table

06/16/2009 2:55 PM

Ah, very good catch. 5 billion billion is what I meant - as per my source, but Microsoft Word must've thought I repeated myself accidently. Thanks for finding this!

__________________
Sharkles
Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Technical Services Manager Canada - Member - Army brat Popular Science - Cosmology - What is Time and what is Energy? Technical Fields - Architecture - Draftsperson Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Clive, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5907
Good Answers: 204
#11
In reply to #1

Re: New Element Makes Periodic Table!

06/19/2009 1:34 PM

I think this might be the path to the stars. Maybe if you can accelerate a particle to light speed, it becomes infinitely heavy. one particle like that ejected from your spacecraft could provide significant thrust... who knows. Here is a link to similar thrusters.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_thruster

Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Hobbies - Musician - New Member Hobbies - Car Customizing - New Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Engineering Fields - Power Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: FL Space Coast
Posts: 536
Good Answers: 14
#12
In reply to #10

Re: New Element Makes Periodic Table

06/23/2009 6:43 AM

damn autocorrect

it's more trouble than it's worth, sometimes

Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Reply to Blog Entry 12 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

chrisg288 (1); IanR (1); Jaxy (2); Mikerho (2); Quobaldt (1); Randall (1); Rorschach (1); Sharkles (1); Stubby (1); welderman (1)

Previous in Blog: Spurring Science Success via Stimulus   Next in Blog: Synthetic Diamonds: A Forgotten Material?

Advertisement