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Element 117 Ununseptium

April 6, 2010

Scientists have synthesized a new element with atomic number 117 by colliding  isoptope of Calcium atoms (Ca-48) with Berkelium-249. Elements 116 and 118 were already synthesized earlier. This new element falls in superheavy element category and will come  under halogen group in the periodic table, even though it’s properties are yet to be determined. Ununseptium (Latin for 117) is a temporary name given to this element. Final official name will be decided by IUPAC along with the scientists who found it (Yuri Oganessian of Russia and his team). Usually, the element names end with -ium, but this being in the halogen group might have a name ending with -ine similar to Chlorine, Iodine etc. Usually such artificially synthesized heavy atoms are very unstable and decay into lighter elements but the nuclei of this element is relatively stable. The results of this discovery including the discussion of the stability of superheavy elements will be published in Physical Review Letters. Here is the Abstract of the accepted paper:

Synthesis of a new element with atomic number Z=117

Yu. Ts. Oganessian et al.

Accepted Monday Apr 05, 2010

The discovery of a new chemical element with atomic number Z=117 is reported. The isotopes 293117 and 294117 were produced in fusion reactions between 48Ca and 249Bk. Decay chains involving eleven new nuclei were identified by means of the Dubna Gas Filled Recoil Separator. The measured decay properties show a strong rise of stability for heavier isotopes with Z 111, validating the concept of the long sought island of enhanced stability for super-heavy nuclei.

Sources: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ununseptium http://prl.aps.org/

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