The Discovery (or Creation?) of Element 118

Livermore scientists team with Russia to discover element 118. ‘Scientists from the Chemistry, Materials and Life Sciences Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers from Dubna, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Russia , have discovered the newest superheavy element, element 118. n experiments conducted at the JINR U400 cyclotron between February and June 2005, the researchers observed atomic decay patterns, or chains, that establish the existence of element 118. In these decay chains, previously observed element 116 is produced via the alpha decay of element 118. The results are published in the October 2006 edition of the journal Physical Review C.
The experiment produced three atoms of element 118 when calcium ions bombarded a californium target. The team then observed the alpha decay from element 118 to element 116 and then to element 114. The Livermore-Dubna team had created the same isotope of element 116 in earlier experiments. This discovery brings the total to five new elements for the Livermore-Dubna collaboration (113, 114, 115, 116 and 118).’

View Animation – In this animation, calcium ions are accelerated to high velocity in a cyclotron and travel toward a target of californium atoms. One out of the billions of the calcium ions fuses with the target to create element 118, which travels through a separator and stops in a detector.

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