New Element, 115, Confirmed

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New Element, 115, Confirmed

The new element hates the term superheavy, it prefers to be called "proton-massive."

New evidence for the existence of a superheavy element has been found by Swedish scientists at the GSI research facility in Germany. The element, atomic number 115, is highly radioactive and only exists for a few seconds before decaying into lighter atoms. The element lives in the section of the periodic table reserved for elements that have only been synthesized in laboratories and which, thankfully, my chemistry teacher never required us to memorize.

A team of Russian scientists first reported the synthesis of a superheavy atom with 115 protons in 2004, but independent study was required to confirm its existence. To recreate the element, a team of Swedish scientists projected a beam of calcium ions, made up of 20 protons, at a thin film of americium, consisting of 90 protons. When the two collided, the atomic nuclei combined to produce a few short-lived atoms with 115 protons. Since element 115 only exists for mere moments, scientists used a special detector to compare the energy signature for the x-ray radiation to the energy the element was expected give off as it quickly degrades. "We observed 30 [atoms] in our three-week-long experiment," study researcher Dirk Rudolph, a professor of atomic physics at Lund University in Sweden, said in an email. The Russian team had detected 37 atoms of element 115 in earlier experiments.

The element, temporarily named ununpentium, was created at the GSI research facility in Germany, where six other elements have also been discovered. By synthesizing superheavy elements, scientists hope to discover new elements with advantageous qualities that can be used for practical purposes.

Source: BBC

Permalink

Time for people to start a petition to call the element "Elerium" - I would sign it!

Great, will this result in the zombies situation?

So in other words, we've discovered a man-made element? I was hoping for more....

Two more elements and suddenly we'll have people screaming for a videogame name for the element.

mad825:
So in other words, we've discovered a man-made element? I was hoping for more....

We've discovered all natural occurring elements, the table of elements is filled up. All that's left is synthesizing elements with higher and higher proton count that decay so rapidly they don't occur naturally. Scientists hope to find an "island of stability" at around 122 protons where the elements would be long-lived.

So... Is this going to be used for Time Travel, for Zombies, as an Energy Source, or something related to electronics?
Or have science fiction writers, television shows, and video games been wrong all along?

image

So uh... what can this element do exactly? Anything interesting and life changing?

Chessrook44:
Two more elements and suddenly we'll have people screaming for a videogame name for the element.

Considering there are TWO big franchises with an element 115 playing a key-role (XCOM with Elerium and CoD Zombies with... well... Element 115), I say that's totally legit. Besides, "Elerium" does sound like a good name for such things. Might as well take it.

Chessrook44:
Two more elements and suddenly we'll have people screaming for a videogame name for the element.

Actually, 115 is some thing from the CoD games, as it is used as all purpose plot hole filler for zombies mode.

why is there a gun that shoots lightning? Element 115.
How do teleporters work? 115.

I preferred it when it was just a little bonus, not half the damn game.

Genocidicles:
image

So uh... what can this element do exactly? Anything interesting and life changing?

Best Case Scenario: Superpowers

Most Likely Scenario: Death

How is this news? Just about any proton numbered element can be synthesized for a fraction of a second. It becomes newsworthy when it can be made stable.

What are the possible uses for an element that can only ever exist for a few seconds?

Might as well have called it unobtanium.

image

This is less a story to encourage further euphoria about physical science, but one that highlights how practically useless a lot of it is becoming.

Gaspochkinium? Franklinium?

Those are the ones I'm hoping for, to honor some overlooked individuals who've changed the way we understand the universe both physically and chemically.

Awesome, now humanity won't have to salvage the stuff from crashed UFOs when the aliens attack! Instant Firestorms, here we come!

In all seriousness though, pretty interesting stuff.

There is only one appropriate song for this situation:

Noetherium?

Burbidgeum?

Irčneum?

Swirlesium?

Sklodowskium?

A cookie if you get the references.

238U

Genocidicles:
So uh... what can this element do exactly? Anything interesting and life changing?

image

It can give you psychic powers. All we need now is some Alien Alloys and we'll have our very own plasma guns!

Bindal:
Time for people to start a petition to call the element "Elerium" - I would sign it!

ZOMG YES.

I wouldn't have understood this a month ago. I'm glad I do now.

mad825:
So in other words, we've discovered a man-made element? I was hoping for more....

It could be naturally made in space, back when all the heavier elements were being made by super novas and planets smashing into each other. But since there is an extremely fast rate of decay it could just fall apart immediately, or we haven't found it yet on a foreign planet.

Agayek:

Genocidicles:
So uh... what can this element do exactly? Anything interesting and life changing?

It can give you psychic powers. All we need now is some Alien Alloys and we'll have our very own plasma guns!

The alternative would be this thing, among other fun stuff:
image

Danny Ocean:
What are the possible uses for an element that can only ever exist for a few seconds?

Might as well have called it unobtanium.

image

This is less a story to encourage further euphoria about physical science, but one that highlights how practically useless a lot of it is becoming.

YOU, what have you DONE?!?!

now any second according the the law of probability, there will be a....

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Unobtainium

oh god...... it's started......

OT: so..... we have a weapon able to shoot it, right?

or is it going to cure/cause the next zombie outbreak?

is it a new console or game?

can it even run Crysis?

.... oh, its Scientists just doing scientist things, i.e. dicking around with science.

....... okay.....

But did they find out if it's capable of generating a powerful anti-gravitation field under certain conditions?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to add everyone who said "is it [not Elerium]?" to the list. Especially because no one mentioned difficult-to-obtainium!

I like ununpentium, it sounds like something that processors would be comprised of in the future...

Well someone already stole my unobtainium joke, so I'll go ahead and ask my question instead.

Now I did alright in chemistry, got a B. That said, I only got a B because the teacher made the class very easy with how he graded and such. So could someone tell me where the extra protons are coming from in this situation?

Swedish scientists projected a beam of calcium ions, made up of 20 protons, at a thin film of americium, consisting of 90 protons. When the two collided, the atomic nuclei combined to produce a few short-lived atoms with 115 protons.

Now I failed calculus, but doesn't 20 + 90 = 110? Obviously I've gotta be missing something here, and would appreciate a "layman's terms" explanation on where these extra protons are coming from to give it 115.

Meh, wake me when we get Element-99.

Danny Ocean:
What are the possible uses for an element that can only ever exist for a few seconds?

Might as well have called it unobtanium.

image

This is less a story to encourage further euphoria about physical science, but one that highlights how practically useless a lot of it is becoming.

I am sorry to say this but that last line is one of the most sorry sentences in existence. NO science has any practical application or purpose while it is being done. Every new discovery is useless when it is done. Only with further study and greater understanding does practical applications become evident. The most obvious examples of this is quantum mechanics and electricity. The electron when it was discovered was useless. It had no practical purpose, but now the whole world works because of our understanding of it. As for quantum mechanics I dare you to get a gps to work without it.

There are 2 branches of science going on these days. There is what you might call commercial science and academic science. Commercial science uses what we already know to create useful stuff. This is largely how the medical industry works. This sort of science needs a "guaranteed" profit at the end of it. Academic science on the other hand flail in the dark. They try new things at infinitum to discover new truths about the world. Their goal is not profit but discovery itself. This means that very few are willing to invest in that sort of science. This is also the reason that the free market can not be trusted wholly with scientific progress.
That being said the commercial science is also necessary to explore how to use the new knowledge gained. As long as this new element can not be contained in any stable state no commercial entity will be interested bu if it can be stabilised I am sure someone will be willing to take a poke at it.

So in short: Claiming that science is "practically useless" betrays the entire history of science and discovery. It is that sort of thinking that leaves research grants unfunded and lets others do the great discoveries. Oh and there is prestige involved as well.

JakobBloch:

I am sorry to say this but that last line is one of the most sorry sentences in existence. NO science has any practical application or purpose while it is being done. Every new discovery is useless when it is done. Only with further study and greater understanding does practical applications become evident. The most obvious examples of this is quantum mechanics and electricity. The electron when it was discovered was useless. It had no practical purpose, but now the whole world works because of our understanding of it. As for quantum mechanics I dare you to get a gps to work without it.

There are 2 branches of science going on these days. There is what you might call commercial science and academic science. Commercial science uses what we already know to create useful stuff. This is largely how the medical industry works. This sort of science needs a "guaranteed" profit at the end of it. Academic science on the other hand flail in the dark. They try new things at infinitum to discover new truths about the world. Their goal is not profit but discovery itself. This means that very few are willing to invest in that sort of science. This is also the reason that the free market can not be trusted wholly with scientific progress.

That being said the commercial science is also necessary to explore how to use the new knowledge gained. As long as this new element can not be contained in any stable state no commercial entity will be interested bu if it can be stabilised I am sure someone will be willing to take a poke at it.

I don't know why you assume I don't know anything about how science works, or that I'm somehow opposed to it.

There are what I would call direction-less studies, and directed studies. Direction-less studies are feeling in the dark, usually with an implicit aim but not always. They might have a hypothesis stating, "If we change X there is a change in Y."

Directed studies use hypotheses formed from direction-less studies to build practical models. They might hypothesis that, "If we increase X it increases Y." And from that deduce the extent of the causal relationship.

Sure, the foundations are discovered by accident, or without particular direction. All the useful stuff comes once the foundations have been laid. Discovering the electron was useless, then people started doing directed studies into how they behaved and opened up a world of practical applications. That's where the juicy stuff is.

So in short: Claiming that science is "practically useless" betrays the entire history of science and discovery. It is that sort of thinking that leaves research grants unfunded and lets others do the great discoveries. Oh and there is prestige involved as well.

No, I claimed that much of direction-less modern physical science is practically useless.

Please don't use in teleporter research, please don't use in teleporter research. Hell, please don't use in any research with human test subjects.

On the other hand, psychic powers. OK, never mind. Carry on.

So when does the naming process begin? It better be soon or else they're gonna get smothered in petitions to name it Elerium.

RJ 17:
Well someone already stole my unobtainium joke, so I'll go ahead and ask my question instead.

Now I did alright in chemistry, got a B. That said, I only got a B because the teacher made the class very easy with how he graded and such. So could someone tell me where the extra protons are coming from in this situation?

Swedish scientists projected a beam of calcium ions, made up of 20 protons, at a thin film of americium, consisting of 90 protons. When the two collided, the atomic nuclei combined to produce a few short-lived atoms with 115 protons.

Now I failed calculus, but doesn't 20 + 90 = 110? Obviously I've gotta be missing something here, and would appreciate a "layman's terms" explanation on where these extra protons are coming from to give it 115.

Don't hang me up on this but I am guessing the extra protons and electrons are coming from neutrons that get split. Apparently when smash neutrons into each other with enough force they sometimes split into a proton and an electron (and a neutrino but as far as I understand that thing just flies off as radiation). So if 5 of the 152(ish) neutrons in the collision split... tada Elerium 115.

Danny Ocean:

JakobBloch:

I am sorry to say this but that last line is one of the most sorry sentences in existence. NO science has any practical application or purpose while it is being done. Every new discovery is useless when it is done. Only with further study and greater understanding does practical applications become evident. The most obvious examples of this is quantum mechanics and electricity. The electron when it was discovered was useless. It had no practical purpose, but now the whole world works because of our understanding of it. As for quantum mechanics I dare you to get a gps to work without it.

There are 2 branches of science going on these days. There is what you might call commercial science and academic science. Commercial science uses what we already know to create useful stuff. This is largely how the medical industry works. This sort of science needs a "guaranteed" profit at the end of it. Academic science on the other hand flail in the dark. They try new things at infinitum to discover new truths about the world. Their goal is not profit but discovery itself. This means that very few are willing to invest in that sort of science. This is also the reason that the free market can not be trusted wholly with scientific progress.

That being said the commercial science is also necessary to explore how to use the new knowledge gained. As long as this new element can not be contained in any stable state no commercial entity will be interested bu if it can be stabilised I am sure someone will be willing to take a poke at it.

I don't know why you assume I don't know anything about how science works, or that I'm somehow opposed to it.

There are what I would call direction-less studies, and directed studies. Direction-less studies are feeling in the dark, usually with an implicit aim but not always. They might have a hypothesis stating, "If we change X there is a change in Y."

Directed studies use hypotheses formed from direction-less studies to build practical models. They might hypothesis that, "If we increase X it increases Y." And from that deduce the extent of the causal relationship.

Sure, the foundations are discovered by accident, or without particular direction. All the useful stuff comes once the foundations have been laid. Discovering the electron was useless, then people started doing directed studies into how they behaved and opened up a world of practical applications.

So in short: Claiming that science is "practically useless" betrays the entire history of science and discovery. It is that sort of thinking that leaves research grants unfunded and lets others do the great discoveries. Oh and there is prestige involved as well.

No, I claimed that much of direction-less modern physical science is practically useless.

Actually you claimed physical science was practically useless, but that is just nitpicking.

If you define directionless research as research without a hypothesis, then I don't actually think it exist anymore. The days of doing something just to see what happens is gone. Largely because the cost of that sort of research is very expensive these days. You don't go firing the Hadron collider to see if something happens. You have made calculations, you have probabilities. You have everything mapped out. Then you fire it. If your predictions a correct, you know that your models work (for now) and you move on. If you were wrong or there were discrepancies, then you check everything again. If everything checks out you start looking at the results and try to build a new model. Then you do it all again.

I don't think anyone stumbled over a new element. They went out to find it. Some russians found/created it. Then some swedes tested their findings, including doing the experiment themselves and found the russians findings to be correct. So tada there is a new element.

So in short: If your definition of directionless research is research without a hypothesis then I don't think it exist anymore.

JakobBloch:

So in short: If your definition of directionless research is research without a hypothesis then I don't think it exist anymore.

Hmm..

I didn't say that directoinless research has no hypothesis, it's that the hypothesis is pretty vague.

But you know you might be right.

I guess that just illustrates the massive utility of directed research.

I'd be good if a professional scientist could comment.

Danny Ocean:

JakobBloch:

So in short: If your definition of directionless research is research without a hypothesis then I don't think it exist anymore.

Hmm..

I didn't say that directoinless research has no hypothesis, it's that the hypothesis is pretty vague.

But you know you might be right.

I guess that just illustrates the massive utility of directed research.

I'd be good if a professional scientist could comment.

And destroy our chance to flail wildly in the dark with only anecdotal knowledge and understanding?

Bite you tongue. =)

JakobBloch:

And destroy our chance to flail wildly in the dark with only anecdotal knowledge and understanding?

Bite you're tongue. =)

EDIT: OOPS!

Our, not your.

So so sorry, it's late here. x)

I've been spending too much time in R&P. x.x

Bindal:

Chessrook44:
Two more elements and suddenly we'll have people screaming for a videogame name for the element.

Considering there are TWO big franchises with an element 115 playing a key-role (XCOM with Elerium and CoD Zombies with... well... Element 115), I say that's totally legit. Besides, "Elerium" does sound like a good name for such things. Might as well take it.

Nosirrah:
Actually, 115 is some thing from the CoD games, as it is used as all purpose plot hole filler for zombies mode.

why is there a gun that shoots lightning? Element 115.
How do teleporters work? 115.

I preferred it when it was just a little bonus, not half the damn game.

Actually I was referring to how many will be screaming when Element 117 is discovered.

Because Halo.

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