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Author: Subject: Will we ever obtain superheavy elements ?
metalresearcher
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[*] posted on 18-7-2021 at 08:44
Will we ever obtain superheavy elements ?


This is probably an Unobtanium or Vibranium discussion.
The (virtual) elements above 100, starting with 100 Fermium are never produced in weighable amounts, because their very short half life and very difficult to produce quantities more than a few atoms. The same applies to the natural elements 85 At and 87 Fr produced in minute amounts as an intermediate as a decay of U and Th.

Will we ever be able to make these elements in:
* A half life so long that they not pose any danger
* weighable amounts to determine real physical or chemical properties (and not predicted as is the case now)
* or even kilogram amounts to allow make a real-life applcation

Think about super noble metal 111 or superheavy in density 108...
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Fulmen
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[*] posted on 18-7-2021 at 10:23


Short answer: Nobody knows yet.

Long answer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_of_stability




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karlos³
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[*] posted on 18-7-2021 at 11:02


I opened that thread, and the last line was Fulmen's short answer, and I immediately thought "island of stability!".
Then I scrolled down.
Meh.

Fascinating to hypothesise about, but reality might be even stranger.
Hope we will find out at some point.
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metalresearcher
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[*] posted on 18-7-2021 at 11:35


I know, this so-called "island of stability" contains only heavy radioactive elements which are only slightly less radioactive than the surrounding elements (i.e minutes instead of seconds), but not useful for technical applications. E.g the mentioned elements 114 and 126 with "magic numbers" would already exist and found in nature if they ate that "stable".
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Fulmen
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[*] posted on 18-7-2021 at 12:11


There is a gray area between "too short for practical use" and "long enough to be present in nature". Personally I doubt there is anything of practical value there, but there's only one way of being sure :-)



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[*] posted on 18-7-2021 at 13:34


We can make artificial elements in the future. Right after we start 3D printing molecules. Trust me.
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karlos³
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[*] posted on 18-7-2021 at 13:42


Quote: Originally posted by Fyndium  
We can make artificial elements in the future. Right after we start 3D printing molecules. Trust me.

Doesn't that make you guys sad?
As soon as "we" start printing molecules, us chemists are old iron, something of the past... living fossils, so to say.
We can run our labs, but it will be considered like medieval market larping is to people nowadays.
We will be like alchemists, funny to watch at, but sooo outdated, its just funny to anyone except us.
As soon as the first molecules get printed, we are out of business.

Biotechnologists as well, but I guess they haven't thought about that yet.
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[*] posted on 18-7-2021 at 20:57


Quote:
Will we ever be able to make these elements in:
* A half life so long that they not pose any danger
* weighable amounts to determine real physical or chemical properties (and not predicted as is the case now)
* or even kilogram amounts to allow make a real-life applcation


1. Wrong metric. It is not the short half life causing it to be dangerous at this level, it is the fact that our methods for production are in the order of a few atoms at a time. The volumes are just not there to cause harm. Maybe I am short-sighted here, but I cannot conceive of a methodology that would produce superheavies other than smacking together two existing elements. And that is whether or not an island of stability exists.

2. Weighable amounts -- no I can't see it happening. Sufficient to determine physical properties, same problem. Sufficient to determine chemical properties: this is already being done with some of the superheavies even when the half life is in microseconds.

3. Kilo amounts is just fantasy IMO. And if you did achieve it, the radiation would be uh... problematic. I would want a decent distance between me and a few grams of polonium. Larger elements will not be any easier to manage. And then there is the problem of critical mass.


I think it likely that something like an island of stability exists. But it is more likely to be a submerged reef than an actual island. That is, there may be some isotopes in a range that are more stable than surrounding isotopes but still with miniscule half lives. I predict the time period between successive discoveries will become longer and longer. And that the even numbered elements will continue to be found before the odds. I predict that independent confirmaton of discoveries will take even longer as a proportion of discovery time. I also predict the occasional flare up and confusion over naming as has happened in the past, albeit a more civil process. And I am not picking anything direcly useful from these elements aside from gaining a deeper understanding of nuclear processes which may assist with teh next generation of nuclear reactors and sophisticated treatment of current nuclear waste stockpiles.
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metalresearcher
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[*] posted on 18-7-2021 at 22:03


j_sum1: I agree, it won't happen. I just summed up the three points which are requirements to make these elements useful and, as you say, they will not.
With the existing 88 elements we have enough.
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Fulmen
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[*] posted on 19-7-2021 at 01:44


j_sum: I agree, it will probably be more of a reef than an island. And while there is some knowledge to be gained from mapping it I suspect it will also be the end of most efforts into new elements.



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[*] posted on 19-7-2021 at 04:13


Quote: Originally posted by karlos³  
Quote: Originally posted by Fyndium  
We can make artificial elements in the future. Right after we start 3D printing molecules. Trust me.

Doesn't that make you guys sad?
As soon as "we" start printing molecules, us chemists are old iron, something of the past... living fossils, so to say.
We can run our labs, but it will be considered like medieval market larping is to people nowadays.
We will be like alchemists, funny to watch at, but sooo outdated, its just funny to anyone except us.
As soon as the first molecules get printed, we are out of business.

Biotechnologists as well, but I guess they haven't thought about that yet.

You can 3d print your molecules, one at a time, or I , as a chemist, can make them in batches of about 10^20.

Which of these techniques is useful?


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[*] posted on 19-7-2021 at 04:42


Quote: Originally posted by metalresearcher  
E.g the mentioned elements 114 and 126 with "magic numbers" would already exist and found in nature if they ate that "stable".


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium-244

Half-life of 80 milliion years and still not conclusively detected as a primordial element.

[Edited on 7/19/2021 by BromicAcid]




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metalresearcher
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[*] posted on 20-7-2021 at 04:07


Quote: Originally posted by BromicAcid  
Quote: Originally posted by metalresearcher  
E.g the mentioned elements 114 and 126 with "magic numbers" would already exist and found in nature if they ate that "stable".


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium-244

Half-life of 80 milliion years and still not conclusively detected as a primordial element.


That is another reason that these 114 and 126 (or other superheavy element samples), even with this relatively short half life do not occur in nature.

Moreover, the way the Oak Ridge and Dubna and Darmstadt labs try to synthesize 110+ elements is very inefficient only a few atoms per year on a particle accelerator running continuously.
An r-process would be much more efficient, but technology is not that far and can only be done with lots (and much more than in the 1950s Ivy Mike like tests which produced tiny amounts of Es and Fm) of nuclear bombs. And that is obvously infeasable.



[Edited on 2021-7-20 by metalresearcher]
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[*] posted on 28-7-2021 at 05:18


This is a fun and yet even noble topic to me. We too often forget that the Higg's BOSON is a boson and that one day we will find a method to producing it as if nakedly from a "laser". I put quotes around laser bc we dont know what it looks like enmasse, just like these other elements (85 and 87). Here is what I believe I believe that we are going to be able to prove that not only is the Higgs boson available in a specific part of the known electromagnetic spectrum technically outside of the normal range but also that it's easy to get to and is dark energy. Or a component of it. I don't believe that it's going to be extremely easy the way I'm making it sound on here but I I do believe that in a Quantum world how we portray things is often how they can be the way crystals grow even in a catalyzed reaction. The objective is simple enough once we acquire a naked Higgs beam. Assuming what I'm saying is correct then it would only take the spectroscopic signature of the substance wanted and paired with that other bows on that I'm speaking on that is produced in Mass via several methods one which I'm disclosing with my local college and then hopes will be seen on the news soon relatively soon. It is obviously simple that E=mc2 and since all equations have an equal opposite then also M=EC2 and if that's true then this conversation will be a lot more fun and we'll be playing with particles that have a hundred thousand protons for example in the future and will probably look like a microscopic neutron star. This will be the only science that proves itself proven to the prove or even before they proven it and even in this case before they knew what was going on or we're even believable by any other scientist has the case now I'm certain. But then again I'm saying dark energy is the Higgs boson beam or family thereof I've even been so Cavalier as to say that the particles of dark energy are the skiaon, the skotadion and the mauron. More will be revealed.

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karlos³
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[*] posted on 28-7-2021 at 13:15


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Quote: Originally posted by karlos³  
Quote: Originally posted by Fyndium  
We can make artificial elements in the future. Right after we start 3D printing molecules. Trust me.

Doesn't that make you guys sad?
As soon as "we" start printing molecules, us chemists are old iron, ...

You can 3d print your molecules, one at a time, or I , as a chemist, can make them in batches of about 10^20.

Which of these techniques is useful?

Not to add much further OT... but thats true, for now.
But who knows how it might look in twenty years?

If they can print complex molecules at this point, they can possibly print simple complex molecule printing nanomachines in maybe a few years, and at that point they aren't far from running batch "chemistry" in notable amounts.
I don't think its that far fetched, but maybe I read too much scifi.
I think, at the current pace, we might see such things in our living time.

Sorry for the OT, I'm out of the discussion now.
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[*] posted on 28-7-2021 at 15:25


The only potential site for plutonium on earth would be the oklo site.
And even there it would be pretty well decayed by now.
U238 would have to undergo 6 neutron capture events to get Pu-244.
There are various pathways from U-239, U-240, and U-242.
Those decay to Neptunium via a Beta pathway.
And most heavier Neptunium isotopes decay to Plutonium via a beta pathway.
The weak point is Pu-243 which has a half-life of 5 hours in which to capture a neutron.
So Plutonium-244 would likely be rare even in circumstances that generate it.
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