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Author: Subject: Does the island of stability really exist ?
metalresearcher
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[*] posted on 29-12-2020 at 10:27
Does the island of stability really exist ?


Some rumors are about this. I think it is wishful thinking. There is no proof of 'stable' isotopes (i.e. half lives more than even a day) of the 100+ elements, except one Dubnium isotope (28 hours). And all 110+ elements even in a fraction of a second.

Completely useless so I guess mankind will never get knowledge of chemical or physical properties of these (actually virtual) elements, unless one makes one of these elements with far less neutrons or no neutrons at all ???
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[*] posted on 29-12-2020 at 15:16


It probably is a thing. But stability is a relative term.
I think it is probably more like a coral reef in deep water than an actual island. That is, more stable than surrounding isotopes but nothing of any practical use.

(Statement based on intuition only without any supporting evidence. But then, I don't think anyone has evidence so I am not alone in speculating.)
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[*] posted on 30-12-2020 at 14:01


The coral reef analogy is very good.
The most stable isotopes in the 110-116 region have half-lives less than 2 minutes.
But we have not succeeded in making the hypothetical 'more stable' isotopes with higher neutron counts.
Yet.
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[*] posted on 30-12-2020 at 15:29


I do not think that there any more absolutely stable isotopes: Any such would presumably have been formed in neutron star collisions, and none seem to be around anymore, so I figure the longest half-lives would not exceed perhaps a few hundred million years.
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[*] posted on 13-9-2022 at 10:27


Quote: Originally posted by pantone159  
I do not think that there any more absolutely stable isotopes: Any such would presumably have been formed in neutron star collisions, and none seem to be around anymore, so I figure the longest half-lives would not exceed perhaps a few hundred million years.


The longest lasting isotopes on the "island", both of which belong to copernicium, are just specified as half lifes >1 year that I've seen, still promethium's longest half life is 17 years so even if it's just 1 year that's pretty decent. I'm most excited at the hope we might be able to confirm the theory that copernicium is a liquid at room temperature

[Edited on 13-9-2022 by JGHFunRun]

[Edited on 13-9-2022 by JGHFunRun]




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[*] posted on 14-9-2022 at 00:59


I like to think of it as a cookie batter, with the proper ratio and even distribution of chocolate chips.

If you add to many chips or do not mix them into the batter evenly, your cookie falls apart.
Ummmm... cookies.

But to further the example, the bigger the cookie, the bigger the mixing bowl needed to evenly mix them. Currently, we are not using a bowl to mix our batter ( atoms). We are crudely throwing one lump of batter at another and hoping they stick together.

It's kind of like crystallization with an impurity in the mix, fault lines form, as the structure is stressed, parts break off. Instead of 1 symmetrical crystal, you get a weekly clumping of crystal. Even though it is one solid piece, it's weak at these fault lines and can break.




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BromicAcid
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[*] posted on 14-9-2022 at 03:29


I think it's there and some interesting elements are going to come from it. Nuclear physicists have been speculating on it's existence for decades but as their models become more sophisticated not only do they still show an island of stability but a second island is starting to form further out.



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metalresearcher
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[*] posted on 14-9-2022 at 08:16


Quote: Originally posted by BromicAcid  
I think it's there and some interesting elements are going to come from it. Nuclear physicists have been speculating on it's existence for decades but as their models become more sophisticated not only do they still show an island of stability but a second island is starting to form further out.

Well, in what sense interesting ?
All elements above 100 are just hypothetical because they do not occur in nature and have never been synthesized in weighable / investigable amounts, but only a few atoms at a time which quickly fall apart.
Unless scientists find out a way to determine properties of an element or one of its compounds within a microsecond, this will never happen.
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[*] posted on 14-9-2022 at 13:28


It's a lot different making useful quantities of an element with a half-life of fractions of a second than it is of an element with a half-life of tens or even hundreds of thousands of years. If they make something cool and find a use for it you can bet that purpose built cyclotrons will not be far behind.



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metalresearcher
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[*] posted on 15-9-2022 at 08:33


Quote: Originally posted by BromicAcid  
It's a lot different making useful quantities of an element with a half-life of fractions of a second than it is of an element with a half-life of tens or even hundreds of thousands of years. If they make something cool and find a use for it you can bet that purpose built cyclotrons will not be far behind.

But there are no elements above 100 which have a half-life of 'tens or even hundreds of thousands of years', 1 day at most, but most only a fraction of a second. And the most 'stable' isotopes are the hardest to make.
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[*] posted on 15-9-2022 at 09:00


I think the chances of more stable beyond elements Z = 100 are pretty good. Black holes/Neutron stars are stable aren't they? Just need to make nuclei big enough and you can disregard energetics due to time dilation/relativistic effects. There is the continent of stability concept too.
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[*] posted on 15-9-2022 at 09:07


Quote: Originally posted by Σldritch  
Black holes/Neutron stars are stable aren't they?


Inside black holes and neutron stars there is no such thing as nuclei, it is either only neutrons or a singular point of something we don't know much about.
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[*] posted on 15-9-2022 at 17:14


metalresearcher, the whole point of the island of stability is that theoretical modeling does indicate that some of these atoms may have half-lives of hundreds of thousands of years. I haven't read any of the new papers on this in years but some of the references available from Wiki indicate that things like 298Fl might have half-lives on the order of 10^19 years. I mean, that is the purpose of this topic, what if this island of stability exists and is reached.



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[*] posted on 16-9-2022 at 00:54


Quote: Originally posted by Tsjerk  
Quote: Originally posted by Σldritch  
Black holes/Neutron stars are stable aren't they?


Inside black holes and neutron stars there is no such thing as nuclei, it is either only neutrons or a singular point of something we don't know much about.


That was a rhetorical question and I disagree. No such thing as a gravitational point singularity. Maybe ring singularity but i doubt the existence of those as well.

It is largely a definitional question anyway. Stability too. If you consider the neutron different from the proton, are protons (Hydrogen) even stable at all?

It is correct though that we don't know much about these objects. I'd like to believe I know a little bit more but physics is hard; my ideas need more work to be presentable.

[Edited on 16-9-2022 by Σldritch]
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[*] posted on 16-9-2022 at 01:28


There is a school of thought that a neutron star (and by extension some other astronomical objects) are really just a large atomic nucleus with no protons.

This turns out to be an unuseful categorisation, as does the term neutronium. It is currently believed that there exists more than one state of matter in a neutron star. And the force that holds it all together is quite different from the forces holding a nucleus together.

(We could postulate the existance of something atom-like with no protons (and hence no electrons). Since an isolated neutron is already well defined, what is in quedtion here is small groups of neutrons bonded via the strong force.
This is probably a good question for Dr Don Lincoln of Fermilab. I don't think he has covered it on his yt channel. My guess is that the answer is either no, or short half life and not occurring naturally for all practical purposes.)

The island of stability is a separate question and to bring up black holes, singularities and neutron stars mostly just muddies the waters.
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metalresearcher
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[*] posted on 16-9-2022 at 08:58


Quote: Originally posted by BromicAcid  
metalresearcher, the whole point of the island of stability is that theoretical modeling does indicate that some of these atoms may have half-lives of hundreds of thousands of years. I haven't read any of the new papers on this in years but some of the references available from Wiki indicate that things like 298Fl might have half-lives on the order of 10^19 years. I mean, that is the purpose of this topic, what if this island of stability exists and is reached.


Is there any real life example of this ?

If not, it is all based on theoretical calculations and until any superheavy element with a usable (>100000 years, perferably far more) half life and in decent quantities (at least weighable amounts and not just a few atoms), the whole island of stability is just fake.
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[*] posted on 16-9-2022 at 09:48


Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
black holes, singularities and neutron stars mostly just muddies the waters.

Agreed, especially BH and singularities. A singularity is a purely hypothetical construct, we have no way of knowing what (if anything) happens with matter beyond the event horizon.

At least neutron stars are part of the observable universe. But still it's of little use in this discussion. Neutrons in a NS are stable because they have no choice. Usually they decay to protons and electrons, but that's exactly what the neutrons were formed by in the first place.


[Edited on 16-9-22 by Fulmen]




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[*] posted on 16-9-2022 at 13:32


Question is "Does the island of stability actually exist?"

Consensus from people much smarter than me is "Yes". Different theoretical models have over the years given different results. The nucleus has been assumed to be different shapes, different modes of spontaneous fission have been considered, but no matter the model or method this island appears even if its shores shift. The fact that it still pops up despite changes to experimental model, that it persists with different sets of assumptions is what leads me to believe it is really there and smarter minds than I agree.

@metalreseracher - Of course you can say it does not exist. I have not seen a paper written specifically debunking the island of stability, though the preponderance of research is focused on positive results rather than negative. Because it's an interesting question to ask, I specifically went looking for papers claiming the island of stability does not exist and offering up explanations for its appearance in current models.

In that process I ran across a few articles, but they all said the same thing - current theory predicts the island of stability but it has never been observed so there is a chance it isn't there.

https://the-gist.org/2020/07/new-elements-island-of-stabilit...

Still, a quick journal search shows that the number of papers containing the phrase "island of stability" has nearly doubled in the last decade. So there are plenty of people looking for it.




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[*] posted on 17-9-2022 at 21:59


Speaking of stars, I forgot to bring those up. For example stars like Przybylski's Star. Apparently (super)heavy elements show up in magnetic stars. Of course the spectra of the superheavy elements have only been stimulated, but it looks promising. From my knowledge of physics this find makes a lot of sense too.
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