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Author: Subject: Are these superheavy elements fake ?
metalresearcher
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[*] posted on 13-10-2017 at 08:59
Are these superheavy elements fake ?


In the labs of Dubna, the seventh row of the priodic table is finished now, as all elements till 118 Oganesson (eka-Radon) are detected once. But here is the catch: detected, nothing more. Of these elements above 110 only a few atoms are ever detected and of all elements starting from 100 (Fermium) onwards, the amounts are sooooo tiny and unweighable (micrograms or less), that no physical or chemical properties can be detected. There are several 'predicted' properties, but that is all.
See this page for more info.

There are even theories about an 'island of stability' (actually 'island of slightly less radioactivirty') for the yet undiscovered elements 122-127, but that means they have a half live of seconds instead of milliseconds. Even when that were hours or even years (which is also way too short), the quantities are no less tiny than all 100+ elements.
There are also two elements (85 Astatine and 87 Francium) which do occur in nature as a decay product of natural U, and these already cannot be measured on properties. But the 100+ elements do not occur in nature, so there are no decay products.
The only chance is that in supernova explosions (where all the elements heavier than 26 Ferrum/Iron are synthesized) these 100+ elements can be synthesized but fall apart after a very short while, so the chance of finding primordinal 100+ elements in out solar system of 4.5 billion years old are nil.
Despite nice researches and stories of very capable scientists like Yuri Oganessian or Martyn Poliakoff, I consider these as a nice theroretical chemistry and not for any practical use.

What are your ideas ?




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[*] posted on 13-10-2017 at 10:14


These superheavy elements with fleeting half lives likely won't have practical use, true, but that is no reason to suggest they are fake. They are most certainly real, and have been synthesized by multiple laboratories (a requirement before they are able to be named).
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[*] posted on 13-10-2017 at 12:04


I don't consider them fake, but I also don't see much use in them.



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[*] posted on 13-10-2017 at 13:35


Strange that you would call these elements fake.
They're about as fake as quarks, bosons and neutrinos.
Just because we have only made a few atoms of them and only observed them for a few milliseconds does not mean that these atoms do not or cannot exist.

We have weighed many of them and determined their molecular weight and also the wavelengths of light that they reflect.
Not only this but for many of these elements we have detected them hundreds of times over.

You are thinking about this from a chemist point of view when in actual fact everything about these particles is almost purely physics based.
And in the world of physics a few milliseconds is actually a long time.
Just because you are physically unable to comprehend a millisecond does not mean a millisecond isn't a part of time.
We humans are limited by our biology and so we cannot directly observe the greater majority of our universe but this doesn't mean that those parts of the universe don't exist.
Much of our universe travels too slowly or too quickly through time for us to observe as we are tied to this single 1 dimensional view of time.

They cannot be used in the conventional sense no, but why does everything in the universe have to have a use that we humans can manipulate, isn't their existence intriguing enough?

Science for the sake of science.
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[*] posted on 13-10-2017 at 20:13


Those elements are all quite real.

The heaviest element referenced on Sciencemadness is Teleportanium 497.5

That one may be fake.



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metalresearcher
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[*] posted on 13-10-2017 at 22:59


I am not saying they are fake, but questioning it. Of course they are real, but for a very short time and very tiny quantity. Unlike other stuff which we as humans cannot observe such as black holes or dark matter, but these are permanently present in the universe. These 100+ elements *might be* available somewhere in the universe in a supernova explosion in a remote galaxy.
What I want to say, we as chemists, engineers, technicians cannot do anything with these elements.




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[*] posted on 14-10-2017 at 01:12


Apologies for not reading your post correctly and taking the title too seriously.

Its difficult to know sometimes if certain areas of research are going to lead to important or usable/benifitting discoveries.
The thing is that with this kinda research we really won't ever know until we find those uses.
In my opinion we as a species should investigate everything we can in order to put together a large library of information for future researchers to look at and make greater discoveries.

Too often in our world research is only being done that is guaranteed to benefit people or make money.
Its too often that we neglect doing science just for the sake of discovering new things, no matter how insignificant.

Creating new heavier elements is kinda one of those "science for the sake of science" things, it may seem pointless at the time but the smaller things that we may come to learn from these discoveries may lead to much larger discoveries in the future.
I they never yield any fruit then oh well, atleast we had fun learning new stuff. :D
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[*] posted on 14-10-2017 at 03:04


An isolated neutron is unstable so, by the OP's original argument, roughly half the mass of the matter in the universe is "fake".
That seems an unhelpful approach.
If the revised question is "What I want to say, we as chemists, engineers, technicians cannot do anything with these elements. "
then the answer is probably "we can't".
The heaviest that I have heard of anyone finding a practical use for is 252 californium.
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja00319a005
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[*] posted on 16-10-2017 at 05:02


Metalresearcher, you haven't really explained why you see these as "fake". There is plentiful evidence of the existence of these heavy synthetic elements, but their short half-lives doesn't mean they aren't real or are fake. For a slightly more close-to-home example, there are many elements in the fission and neutron absorption chains of uranium-238 that very short lived, on the order of microseconds. I can't name them off the top of my head, but they're there, and show up every day. They're definitely not fake; they're just intermediates. Why would the heavy synthetics be "fake"?



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[*] posted on 11-3-2018 at 07:44


At the risk of reviving a dead thread...The pursuit of knowledge is the overall goal here. Practical uses are not a prerequisite for science.

This has been a hotly debated area for 60 or 70 years in Congress here in the US. You have MORON senators and representatives who hold the purse strings for funding of the sciences. They are all mostly lifelong politicians or come from a legal education background (lawyers, judges, etc.).It's often hard for people ignorant of the sciences to understand the point of funding science education and research when there's no stated practical return on investment up front.

There will most likely be no practical use for any of the super heavy elements, ever. That's not the point, though. The POINT, and the hope is that we may learn something we didn't have an answer for previously. We may peel back another layer of the unknown and get a more fundamental understanding of the proton or the neutron or the weak nuclear force or relativistic effects, etc. etc.We may stumble upon a more practical method of synthesizing OTHER radioactive elements which we DO have a use for. We may refine our techniques of dealing with high level nuclear waste and finally find a way to neutralize it instead of just burying it or dumping it in casks at the bottom of the ocean.

We may find an answer to a problem we didn't even know we had. That's the ultimate drive behind cutting edge science. If you start with a problem and go in looking for a solution you're probably going to be disappointed. If you start with a goal of pursuing pure knowledge you'll never be disappointed because you're always going to uncover something. Unexpected results are often the most rewarding. :o
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[*] posted on 11-3-2018 at 07:55


It's not getting better, but it's not a new problem.
Faraday, asked about what use his discoveries about electromagnetism might be is reported to have replied "What use is a new born child?".

The reply isn't the point,- the important fact is that he was asked the question.
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[*] posted on 11-3-2018 at 09:06


We've already reached the island of stability, actually, in terms of protons that is. Roentgenium-282 has a half-life of 2 minutes, much longer than that of any of the elements between it and seaborgium. However, it's believed that increasing the number of neutrons further will increase the half-life to hours or even years. Heaven only knows what it's good for, though.

[Edited on 11-3-2018 by clearly_not_atara]




[Edited on 04-20-1969 by clearly_not_atara]
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[*] posted on 11-3-2018 at 09:24


Quote: Originally posted by clearly_not_atara  
We've already reached the island of stability, actually, in terms of protons that is. Roentgenium-282 has a half-life of 2 minutes , much longer than that of any of the elements between it and seaborgium. However, it's believed that increasing the number of neutrons further will increase the half-life to hours or even years. Heaven only knows what it's good for, though.

[Edited on 11-3-2018 by clearly_not_atara]

Two minutes and even 'years' is not stable at all and way more radioactive than Pu, so still is is useless. I'd rather call it 'islsnd of slightly less radioactivity'.




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[*] posted on 11-3-2018 at 10:16


Well yeah, relative to most other elements they are extremely radioactive, but they are definitely considered stable compared to those elements which exist for less than 1/1000 of a second. It’s like people for instance, most of us would expect to live for 80-100 years, but then it would be like having someone appear who has lived for 100,000 years - quite a massive difference. But yeah, to us humans they are pretty much useless outside of theoretical interests, unless one happens to randomly produce some particle which we have never seen before, very unlikely of course but these new elements may one day serve some purpose, just like every other important technological milestone throughout history.



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[*] posted on 12-3-2018 at 06:44


It wouldn't matter if they were completely stable -- currently, chemists are trying to optimize production to make at least one atom per week, and that's the goal, so I assure you using these elements in chemical experiments won't happen any time soon. However, it may provide a test of some theories of quantum chromodynamics, which is currently not a solved problem by any measure, and understanding that has other implications, such as the design of nuclear reactors, etc.



[Edited on 04-20-1969 by clearly_not_atara]
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[*] posted on 12-3-2018 at 21:22


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
It's not getting better, but it's not a new problem.
Faraday, asked about what use his discoveries about electromagnetism might be is reported to have replied "What use is a new born child?".

The reply isn't the point,- the important fact is that he was asked the question.


He was quoting Ben Franklin, the guy who actually said it about the Mongolfier balloon some years before.

It was an answer to his own rhetorical question, and he credited Franklin at the time.




The problem with quotes on the internet is that it's hard to determine their authenticity. -Abraham Lincoln.
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