Sciencemadness Discussion Board

a Possible NEW Element!

YT2095 - 28-4-2008 at 06:55

and quite likely to have been here all along:
and a bit here:

how sexy is That! ;)

-jeffB - 28-4-2008 at 08:43

That's a pretty exceptional claim, and it's going to require a lot more exceptional evidence. It looks like they're claiming a part-per-trillion signal in a sample that contains part-per-million concentrations of "certain trace elements that could potentially give rise to spectrally interfering molecular species". That makes it sound a lot like cold fusion to me.

But confirmation would be much more interesting than lack thereof, so that's what I'm rooting for. :)

Pulverulescent - 28-4-2008 at 09:01

So when, I wonder, will we see a thread on unbibium?


Phosphor-ing - 28-4-2008 at 09:49

Originally posted by Pulverulescent
So when, I wonder, will we see a thread on unbibium?


I wonder what this thread is about?:P

unionised - 28-4-2008 at 10:31

Detecting things at a few parts in a trillion (or quadrillion) is exactly the sort of thing ICPMS is good at.

Having said that, I wonder how come nobody saw it before. It's not as if ICP/MS systems are rare- though, to be fair, people don't usually look for masses that high.

The_Davster - 28-4-2008 at 13:09

Due to the sort of interferences ICPMS is known for I would not have a party for this element quite yet...I know they said they excluded most...but there are always other potential funky things going on in plasma conditions.

However if it is a new element, that is awesome, but for it to be really interesting they will have to isolate enough to see with the naked eye.

woelen - 28-4-2008 at 13:38

I agree with The_Davster. If this is real, then it will be a tremendous discovery, and it will be a MAJOR impulse in a completely new branch of chemistry. If it is real, then soon there will be macroscopic quantities of this element and then we will become really excited!

Now the question is, is it really real ?? :P

chemrox - 28-4-2008 at 14:35

Is it real indeed? Are the "macroscopic quantities" of Nobelium anywhere? Also called "nobelievium" by the Berkeley guys when the Russions claimed it... we still don't know.

Sauron - 28-4-2008 at 15:28

A naturally occuring superheavy? Wouldn't it have to be out there in the predicted "island of stability" to have a decent halflife (or be stable)?

This will be much scrutinized and debated by those who know how to interpret the data, and once a consensus is achieved this may be Nobel material for the discoverer(s).

As for "Why didn't anyone see it before?" one might well as the same question about the fullerenes. They were always there too, at least since the first arc lamps. But no one noticed till what, 15 years ago. Not a new element but a new allotrope and a helluvalot easier to produce than a superheavy element.

JohnWW - 28-4-2008 at 17:04

It has been hitherto thought that, on the basis of the special stability of filled shells of protons and neutrons in nucleon packing models, the most likely superheavy elements (other than Th-232, U-235, U-238, and trace amounts of of Pu-244, which occur naturally) to have survived since the formation of the solar system about 4.6 billion years ago, would be elements 114 especially with mass number 298 which would be the both chemical and nuclear homolog of the "doubly-magic" isotope Pb-208, and the nearby elements 112, 113, and 115 (with mass number 299, homolog of Bi-209); and element 126 which would be a rare-earth element but with 5g as well as 6f and 7d electrons. There would be an inner series of 18 elements within another rare-earth series of 14 elements, in the 8th period of elements. Because of the thinness of their lobes, these elements' 9 5g orbitals would provide very poor shielding of the nuclear charge, significantly increasing the electronegativity of the elements following them.

Elements 112, 113, 114, 115, and (much less stable) 116 and 118, have been synthesized by bombardments of U-238 and the heaviest available isotopes of the following transuranium elements with the neutron-rich isotope Ca-48. However, the resulting isotopes, along with those of the lighter elements such as 109, 110 (eka-Pt), and 111 (eka-Au), are all severely neutron-deficient for their atomic numbers, and consequently very short-lived.

[Edited on 30-4-08 by JohnWW]

-jeffB - 28-4-2008 at 19:15

There was also something in there about spin isomers of ordinarily-unstable isotopes that are much more stable than the "ground state" (if you can even use that term). I barely know where to begin to speculate on something that esoteric...

12AX7 - 28-4-2008 at 20:17

Those are meta-states. The nucleus is in an excited state, which for some reason, is relatively long lived (more than a nano- or micro- second, I forget which). Such states decay with release of (or can be excited with) gamma radiation of specific energies. Most atoms have few if any excited states, many short lived, while some notable exceptions have amazingly stable states.

Hmm, or maybe that's not what you mean. I don't recall offhand if meta states have different spin. At any rate, we're just talking nuclear configurations, which are (to a VERY rough degree) similar to electronic configurations, merely smaller, faster, higher energy and governed by different forces (primarily the nuclear strong force, along with other more or less mysterious forces).


Jdurg - 28-4-2008 at 20:19

Heh. There's another one I'll have to consider never being able to add to my collection. :D

not_important - 28-4-2008 at 23:17

Well, if they are correct just get a thorium sample and you'll have a bit of the new element as well.

JohnWW - 29-4-2008 at 07:22

Oh yes. I wonder, then, if samples of Pb (which contains four isotopes, the most common being Pb-208) would contain sufficient traces of element 114 (most likely of atomic weight 298), and if samples of Bi (all Bi-209) would contain sufficient traces of element 115 (most likely of atomic weight 299), to be detectable by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Element 126, if traces of it exist, with an atomic weight most likely somewhere in the vicinity of 334, may chemically resemble Pu, and be in U ores (which contain traces of Pu-244), but that would depend on the point at which the 5g orbitals start being filled with electrons in preference to 6f orbitals with increasing atomic number.

BTW, that long-lived high-spin isomer isotope of element 122 with mass 292 which those scientists claim to have discovered is still grossly neutron-deficient; the longest-lived ground-state isotope of it would have an atomic weight around 320.

[Edited on 30-4-08 by JohnWW]

franklyn - 29-4-2008 at 10:29

Glen Seaborg had predicted that superheavy elements would be found
to be stable. His proxies still continue this research.

Personally I find the holes in the periodic table more intriguing ,
Technitium for example.


Dr. Beaker - 30-4-2008 at 14:11


According to their numbers 78 ton of Th should contain about 1 mg of this element, which is more then enough to detect many of its physical properties and chemistry.
Now they only need to make a PO of some Th from the Th mine near them. (correction: mines):)
[Edited on 1-5-2008 by Dr. Beaker]

[Edited on 1-5-2008 by Dr. Beaker]

blogfast25 - 2-5-2008 at 09:53

That would be truly exciting. Let's hope it doesn't fizzle out like cold fusion, polywater and the rest of the science bloopers...

-jeffB - 2-5-2008 at 11:06

Originally posted by blogfast25
That would be truly exciting. Let's hope it doesn't fizzle out like cold fusion, polywater and the rest of the science bloopers...

Yeah, any time I hear something like this I remember polywater and cold fusion. But then I also remember buckyballs and high-temperature perovskite superconductors. :)

blogfast25 - 4-5-2008 at 08:51

Googling for Unbibium, it appears there's plenty of plausible criticism of this discovery. Wait and see, I guess...

franklyn - 4-1-2016 at 09:09

50 years ago The periodic table comprised 103 elements. I recall then whether number 104 had been discovered or not.

The Periodic table is not the only thing that will need to be re written

IrC - 4-1-2016 at 11:32

I did a search for all papers using 'superheavy nucleus' and came up with 71 results. Much to digest though very interesting.

Using 'element' instead of nucleus picks up many papers on the subject missed in the first search.

What I did find interesting is the great amount of skepticism in this thread back in 08. While the current number of around 200 papers on the site were not around a few years ago, many did exist and it seems no one searched and read them before commenting.

j_sum1 - 4-1-2016 at 16:04

This just in.
New elements added to periodic table 

It seems that the remaining four elements up to 118 will soon have names and symbols.

Actually, I've just had an idea. This might be worth a new thread.

deewee - 10-1-2016 at 13:29

There must be theoretical calculations showing some stability in very large atoms, today the chemical is based on theory and then get in practice, it may be the case confirm this