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Existence of element 115 confirmed
28 August 2013
Nature: Another element may be added to the periodic table: 115. Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have synthesized what they have dubbed ununpentium. They fired calcium ions at a thin film of americium, then used high-resolution spectroscopy to study the photons released as the new, superheavy element rapidly decayed. The researchers were able to detect some 30 alpha-decay chains that correlated with what would be expected from the formation of element 115. A committee comprising members of the international unions of pure and applied physics and chemistry will review the findings to determine whether further experiments are needed to confirm the element’s existence. The research has also provided deeper insight into the structure and properties of superheavy atomic nuclei. Element 115 was first made in 2003 by a collaboration between the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.
© 2013 American Institute of Physics