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I love new elements! June 11, 2008

Posted by fetzthechemist in Elements.
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Having grown up in the era when the finishing members of the actinide series and the first transactinides were discovered, I have always been fascinated by the making of new elements. As a twelve-year-old, I wrote Albert Ghiorso a letter telling him of my interest and he kindly sent me revent reprints on the Lawrence Berkeley lab’s work on elements 102 and upward. After finishing grad school and moving to the East Bay to work, I met him and Glenn Seaborg at a symposium and thanked them for helping spark my interest in chemistry.

Even now articles on newer transactinides are interesting. The latest Dhemical and Engineering News, June 9th issue, describes the latest experiments on the chemistry of elements such as 112 (I hate those IUPAC temporary Latin numbering names!!!). Chemical affinity through adsorption from the the gas phase…..simple sounding experiments that must take the patience of Job. One successful atom detection every few weeks!

I hope the labs in Germany, the US, and Russia (or any other newbie groups elsewhere) succeed in breakthroughs to extend the discoveries or maybe that more neutron-richer isotopes can be made that result in the longer halflifes predicted. Then I hope IUPAC gets past the slow politicking of recognizing a discovery and getting real element names in those periodic table bozes.

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1. Ψ*Ψ - June 11, 2008

I could care less about the new elements, mostly because I do synthesis. If it only lasts a fraction of a second, what’s the use? You can’t really do chemistry with that. 😦
Maybe it’s also because I can never remember the names.

2. fetzthechemist - June 11, 2008

Practicality 😉 Well, I love the wowwie neat of it all. I could never get into it enough to do it, though. Some science is just intriguing without any real use. My favorite PAH, for example, is one that has two conformations at room temperature. Spectroscopy is wierd because the energy interconverts them.


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