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Topic: A report of Z=122 found in nature  (Read 14677 times)

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Offline pantone159

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A report of Z=122 found in nature
« on: April 28, 2008, 01:22:26 PM »
These people claim to have found atoms of atomic number 122, mass 292, by mass spectrometry of a whole lot of Th, looking for high mass outliers.  I don't know enough to assess their claim, I am interested what you guys think of this.

http://arxivblog.com/?p=385
http://arxiv.org/abs/0804.3869


Offline Mitch

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Re: A report of Z=122 found in nature
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2008, 02:38:26 PM »
Yeah, expect a blog post at www.chemistry-blog.com tomorrow on my take.
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Offline shelanachium

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Re: A report of Z=122 found in nature
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2008, 05:18:54 PM »
Mass 292 far too neutron-poor for stability at Z=122, surely?

Offline gippgig

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Re: A report of Z=122 found in nature
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2008, 08:33:10 PM »
See my previous Sept. 14, 2007 entry "New natural nuclides???".

Offline Mitch

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Re: A report of Z=122 found in nature
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2008, 06:37:56 AM »
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Offline Dan1195

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Re: A report of Z=122 found in nature
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2008, 03:46:04 PM »
I read that also. Couple of thoughts immediately come to mind ignoring the issue of stability of such a neutron poor nuclide for the moment. First regarding the experiment itself, at the abundance ratios relative to Thorium they are talking about(~10-11), are the experiments even sensitive enough to distinguish actual results from background. Second, I have no clue what mechanism would allow the creation of a nuclide in that region of the nuclear chart. The standard processes associated with stellar and supernovae nucleosynthesis are obviously out (i.e. p-, r-process).

As far as the stability issue. Obviously we would not be talking about a nucleus in its ground state. 294118, as tentatively assigned, has a half lile of 890 microseconds. Some of the same authors in this study have repeatedly suggested the presence of super- and hyperdeformed nuclear states, generally very neutron deficient, that experience significant extra stability. Their claims incude unusual alpha decays from neutron deficient acitinides, such as 236Bk, as well as Rg in Au samples and very neutron deficient istopes of Th itself. There was also a claim back in the 1970's of the creation of a very neutron deficient isotope of element 112 of mass ~272, which was not deemed to be suffficent by IUPAC.

None of these claims seem do not seem to have be verified by any other researchers. With the exception of the element 112 claim, I have not read about attempts to replicate the studies either. There is a lot of stuff out there about superdeformation, but I see nothing in well known publications mentioning the possibility of second and third potential energy wells that exhibit some special kind of stabilty.

With no replication and no peer review of these papers makes me leery to say the least. This isnt the first time in the past few years stuff similar to this has been claimed either. This "Proton-21" laboratory in the Ukraine claims to make singificant amounts of superheavies by focusing intense beams of low energy electrons or something like that. Considering this specific group presents their stuff at "cold fusion" conferences (the quack kind not the heavy ion reaction kind) it is not surprising no one would take this particular specific claim seriously or use research time and money to try to verify it.

« Last Edit: April 29, 2008, 04:00:48 PM by Dan1195 »

Offline tasmodevil44

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Re: A report of Z=122 found in nature
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2008, 01:46:58 PM »
I am somewhat skeptical of this claim.However,I hope that it may be true simply because the very idea is rather fascinating:that super-heavy elements in an island of stability may already exist on earth in infinitesimally small quantities.But by what means or stellar mechanism would such a naturally occuring element come about?Would even the most powerful supernova be cabable of producing sufficient quantities that would not all have decayed after so many years?I also find it curious what chemical properties...although too minute for practical industrial use of any kind.

Offline shelanachium

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Re: A report of Z=122 found in nature
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2008, 02:58:49 PM »
You from Tassie? Had a splendid month there 5 years ago!

Yes, I would love stable or long-lived superheavies to exist. I'd love to know if Rg- is stable in water, (Au- is well-known in solids and in liquid NH3, and Rg should be even more electronegative than gold). I would love to know if element 112 which follows Rg is noble-gas-like and has volatile fluorides MF4 (just discovered for Hg) and MF6.

Trouble is, all 'evidence' for long-lived superheavies seems to collapse on further investigation, such as a 1975 claim for fission-products of superheavies in meteorites. They would need half-lives of only a million years or so to show up in meteorites, formed very early in Solar-System history. See evidence of former existence of 700,000-yr Al-26 in meteorites, where its decay-product Mg-26 turns up in crystal sites where Al is expected.

I have posted on both this site and Physics Forums my suggestion that neutron-rich superheavies may form not in supernovae, but in the very rare neutron-star coalescences behind some gamma-ray bursters. Do I get the Nobel Prize if I turn out to be right? Nobody has commented on my suggestion, probably because it is crazy.

As for possibly long-lived neutron-poor superheavies, I have no idea.

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