Japanese research institute earns right to name new element

TOKYO - A team of Japanese scientists have met the criteria for naming a new element, the synthetic highly radioactive element 113, more than a dozen years after they began working to create it.

See Full Article

Kosuke Morita, who was leading the research at the government-affiliated Riken Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science, was notified of the decision on Thursday by the U.S.-based International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

"Now that we have conclusively demonstrated the existence of element 113, we plan to look to the unchartered territory of element 119 and beyond," Morita said in a statement.

A joint working group of the IUPAC and International Union of Pure and Applied Physics also announced decisions on recognition of discoveries of elements 115, 117 and 118.

Discoveries of atomic elements have often involved competition between scientists. The news is a morale booster for Riken, which has undergone a reorganization of some of its research following a scandal over stem-cell research.

"To scientists, this is of greater value than an Olympic gold medal," Ryoji Noyori, former Riken president and Nobel laureate in chemistry told reporters.

Riken had earlier said japonium might be proposed as a name for element 113, which provisionally had been named ununtrium.

However, Morita has no specific candidates under consideration. He said he planned to spend part of next year considering a name for the element.

The IUPAC group gave collaborating teams from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee the right to name elements 115 and 117. Separately, scientists from the Dubna laboratory and Lawrence Livermore were invited to name element 118.

Element 113 sits between copernicium and flerovium on the periodic table. A joint team of scientists in Russia and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the U.S. also were vying for naming rights for 113 after announcing its discovery in 2004.

Morita and his group used Riken's linear accelerator and ion separator to search for new synthetic superheavy elements, beginning in the late 1980s. In 2003, his team began working to create element 113 by bombarding a thin layer of bismuth with zinc ions travelling at about 10 per cent the speed of light, Riken said.

Isotopes of element 113 have a very short half-life, lasting for less than a thousandth of a second, making its discovery very difficult. After twice succeeding to create it, the group tried for seven years before further success, in August 2012.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Academics work to preserve millions of colonial documents in Cuba

    Tech & Science CTV News
    HAVANA -- An American team of academics is racing to preserve millions of Cuban historical documents before they are lost to the elements and poor storage conditions. Many of the documents shed light on the slave trade, an integral part of Cuba's colonial history that was intertwined with that of the United States. Source
  • Text messages from the dead

    Tech & Science CBC News
    more stories from this episodeText messages from the deadVoicemail, we hardly knew yeThe apple that won't brownHow to make your city less brutal in the winterFull Episode by Danielle Nerman, CBC Calgary Religion, folklore and film are riddled with stories of the dead trying to communicate with the living. Source
  • Cutest captain: Sea lion caught in fishing gear hops on boat

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Officials say a juvenile sea lion was so happy to be rescued after getting hooked by fishing gear off Southern California, it jumped into a Coast Guard boat. The Coast Guard says a Los Angeles-area crew on patrol pulled the sea lion free Saturday near Newport Harbor. Source
  • Facebook announces 'fake news' offensive in Germany

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Social media giant Facebook announced Sunday that it will introduce new measures to combat fake news in Germany, as Europe's largest economy and most populous nation enters an election year. "It's important to us that the reports and news posted on Facebook are reliable," a blog post on the Silicon Valley firm's German website read. Source
  • E-waste rising dangerously in Asia: UN study

    Tech & Science CTV News
    So-called e-waste in Asia has jumped 63 percent in five years, the report by the United Nations University said, as it warned of a need for most nations across the region to improve recycling and disposal methods. Source
  • The bald and the bold: Eagles' resurgence comes at a price

    Tech & Science CTV News
    PORTLAND, Maine -- The eagle has landed -- on chickens and rare birds, with talons at the ready. The resurgence of the bald eagle is one of America's greatest conservation success stories. They have come back so strong that in some areas, they are interfering with efforts to preserve more jeopardized species, such as loons and cormorants, wildlife biologists say. Source
  • SpaceX launches 1st rocket since explosion in Florida

    Tech & Science CBC News
    A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from California on Saturday and placed a constellation of satellites in orbit, marking the company's first launch since a fireball engulfed a similar rocket on a Florida launch pad more than four months ago. Source
  • SpaceX launches first rocket since explosion in Florida

    Tech & Science CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from California on Saturday, marking the company's first launch since a fireball engulfed a similar rocket on a Florida launch pad more than four months ago. Source
  • Scientists call for tri-national conservation effort to save monarch butterfly

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Researchers from the University of Guelph have helped pinpoint locations of monarch butterfly breeding grounds with the hope of a multi-national conservation effort. During their migration, monarch butterflies travel from Mexico into southern Canada, a journey of about 5,000 kilometres annually. Source
  • Maui shoreline reopens after humpback carcass disappears

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Hawaii state officials have reopened a stretch of shoreline on Maui after the remains of a dead humpback whale disappeared from view. The Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve on Maui's southwest coast was reopened Friday after it was closed on December 30 when the dead whale washed ashore. Source