October 13, 2006

Controversy-plagued element 118 finally created

Element 118 has been indirectly discovered in experiments conducted at the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions in Dubna, Russia by a collaboration of researchers from Russia's Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

The researchers created the massive atom by firing a beam of Calcium ions into a target made of Californium (element 98). Although the record-setting atom is too unstable to detect directly, the presence of daughter particles resulting from the rapid decay of element 118 gave clues to its fleeting existence.

Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) previously reported the synthesis of element 118 in 1999, and later retracted their results when subsequent experiments failed to confirm their discovery. Investigations revealed that evidence supporting the production of three atoms of element 118 had been fabricated by one of the key LBNL researchers.

To call into the October 16 press conference about the latest discovery of element 118 , contact:

Anne Stark
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Element 118 Discovered (again)
Yu. Ts. Oganessian et al.
Phys. Rev. C 74, 044602 (2006)
Published online 9 October 2006

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