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Topic: A question regarding element 120  (Read 5727 times)

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Offline Bublik

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A question regarding element 120
« on: July 18, 2012, 10:33:37 PM »
There was an attempt to synthesize the element 120 recently in the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research.
Nuclear chemists and physicists attempted to do this by accelerating element 98; Californium, and element 22; Titanium.
Does anyone know why they chose this particular combination of elements? Californium by itself is difficult to synthesize so why spend time and money on something which, the way I see it (which I'm sure is wrong, being the reason I'm asking this question) can be replaced with a much simpler combination which is more cost and time effective.

Why not for example, use a combination of Lead (82) and Strontium (38)? Someone please explain this to me.

Another question deriving from this is: wouldn't it be easier to start by trying to synthesize element 130, and then when it decays to element 128, 126, 124, 122, and 120 you will simultaneously discover those as well...

That probably sounds childish, but please correct my misunderstandings

 

Offline gippgig

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Re: A question regarding element 120
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2012, 02:08:17 AM »
98 + 22 has the highest estimated cross-section to produce 120 of currently feasible reactions (100 +20 would be a lot better but there is no way to produce a sufficient quantity of fermium).
The cross-section for producing 130 would be much smaller than 120 (and it would most likely decay by spontaneous fission rather than alpha emission).

Offline Bublik

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Re: A question regarding element 120
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2012, 01:44:25 PM »
Sorry, that's the answer I was looking for but what do you mean about highest estimated cross-section? What does that mean, and why does it apply specifically to number 98 and 22 (excluding 100 and 20 because of unavailability of fermium)?

Offline gippgig

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Re: A question regarding element 120
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2012, 02:55:59 AM »
Highest estimated cross-section = maximum likelihood based on current knowledge of producing the desired product. Cross-sections depend on a complicated combination of factors but in general a smaller projectile on a larger target is better. Cf is the largest target available (but I believe they used 249Cf; 252Cf, while a lot harder to handle (emits dangerous levels of neutrons), would be better).

Offline Bublik

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Re: A question regarding element 120
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2012, 01:07:06 PM »
Sounds fascinating! Thanks a lot for the input, all this stuff is so interesting!  ;D

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