It's A...It's A...It's An Element!: Periodic Table Gets New Addition To The Atomic Family

April 8, 2010


That's right folks, the periodic table is getting another new addition to the family. And apparently these super-heavy elements they're creating in the lab are getting stabler and stabler as atomic weight increases. Which gives me hope Geekologieum won't fly off the handle if you accidentally call it a little pudgy.

The team produced six atoms of the element by smashing together isotopes of calcium and a radioactive element called berkelium in a particle accelerator about 75 miles north of Moscow on the Volga River, according to a paper that has been accepted for publication at the journal Physical Review Letters.

Data collected by the team seem to support what theorists have long suspected: that as newly created elements become heavier and heavier they will eventually become much more stable and longer-lived than the fleeting bits of artificially produced matter seen so far.

If the trend continues toward a theorized "island of stability" at higher masses, said Dawn A. Shaughnessy, a chemist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California who is on the team, the work could generate an array of strange new materials with as yet unimagined scientific and practical uses.

Anti-gravity boots here I come! Invisibility cloak here I come! I'm gonna be hovering around the nearest women's locker room before you female readers and trannies can ask, "why is the ceiling panting?"

Scientists Discover Heavy New Element [nytimes]

Thanks Malandros and Nik, I'm putting you two in charge of discovering Geekologieum. Don't let me down! I'm serious, I hate walking.

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