Flashback: First superheavy element found in nature

Over the holiday period, the arXivblog is running a selection of the most popular posts from 2008

28 April 2008: First superheavy element found in nature

The hunt for superheavy elements has focused banging various heavy nuclei together and hoping they’ll stick. In this way, physicists have extended the periodic table by manufacturing elements 111, 112, 114, 116 and 118, albeit for vanishingly small instants. Although none of these elements is particularly long lived, they don’t have progressively shorter lives and this is taken as evidence that islands of nuclear stability exist out there and that someday we’ll find stable superheavy elements.

Read on…

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