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

  • Scientists may have found out why whales are so big

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Scientists think they have answered a whale of a mystery: How the ocean creatures got so huge so quickly. A few million years ago, the largest whales, averaged maybe 15 feet long. Source
  • Canadian students win big at robotics world championship

    Tech & Science CTV News
    For the second time in 15 years, Canadian students excelled at a global robotics competition. Toronto’s Bayview Glen School came in first out of 32,000 teams at the FIRST (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology) LEGO League world festival, held in St. Source
  • Egypt moves bed, chariot of King Tut to new museum

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAIRO -- Egypt has safely transported two unique items, a funerary bed and a chariot belonging to the famed pharaoh King Tutankhamun from a museum in central Cairo to a new one on the other side of the city. Source
  • Flood prediction, climate change impacts on water studied at new Canmore lab

    Tech & Science CBC News
    At a new research lab in Canmore, Alta., scientists are studying the impact of climate change on water, glaciers and snow, and developing tools to predict and warn people about future floods. The Coldwater Laboratory, led by John Pomeroy, recently moved from the Barrier Lake Field Station in Kananaskis Country to the Bow Valley. Source
  • Battery boast, better viewing angles for refreshed Microsoft Surface

    Tech & Science Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Microsoft is refreshing its Surface Pro tablet with longer battery life and faster processors. The new, fifth-generation device — simply called Surface Pro — won’t look or feel drastically different from its predecessor. But Microsoft is hoping its under-the-hood improvements will help it compete with newer laptop-tablet hybrids from Samsung and others. Source
  • Trump budget cuts funding for clean air and water programs

    Tech & Science CBC News
    The Trump Administration budget released Tuesday slashes funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by nearly one-third, laying off thousands of employees while imposing dramatic cuts to clean air and water programs. The White House's proposed spending plan for the EPA amounts to less than $5.7 billion, a 31 per cent cut from the current budget year, according to a briefing provided in advance to the media. Source
  • Spacewalking astronauts tackle urgent station repairs

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Spacewalking astronauts are making urgent repairs at the International Space Station. Commander Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer went out Tuesday morning, three days after a critical relay box abruptly stopped working. Source
  • Spacewalking astronauts pull off urgent station repairs

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Spacewalking astronauts completed urgent repairs at the International Space Station on Tuesday, replacing equipment that failed three days earlier and restoring a backup for a vital data-relay system. It took commander Peggy Whitson much longer than expected to install the spare unit. Source
  • Mudlarking: History buffs dig up priceless treasures along London's River Thames

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Sift through the mud on the shores of a Canadian river and you'd be lucky to find a lost necklace amid the washed-up bottle caps and beer cans. But take a walk along the edge of London's River Thames, and there's a good chance you'll find a piece of ancient history. Source
  • Computer beats Chinese champion in ancient game of Go

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WUZHEN, China - A computer defeated China's top player of the ancient board game go on Tuesday in the latest test of whether artificial intelligence can master one of the last games that machines have yet to dominate. Source