Feeds

Boffins lay bare exotic Lara Croft meteorite element ununpentium

Time's Uup: Now you'll HAVE to replace that mouldy periodic table shower curtain

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Boffins have found fresh evidence for the existence of the new, super-heavy element ununpentium, known to gamers as the element found in meteorites in games like Call of Duty and Tomb Raider.

Periodic table up to date in May 2013

The element with atomic number 115 has no official name yet, but its temporary moniker is ununpentium (temp symbol Uup) after its atomic number. It's one of the heaviest elements detected to date and doesn't occur naturally. Scientists have synthesised it by bombarding a film of the heavy element americium with calcium ions.

Ununpentium was first detected by a team of Russian and American scientists in 2004, but their evidence was insufficient for the element to be officially recognised. Now, boffins from Lund University in Sweden have been able to measure photons in connection with the element's alpha decay. The experiment found certain energies of the photons agreed with the expected energies for X-ray radiation, providing a "fingerprint" of the element.

“This was a very successful experiment and is one of the most important in the field in recent years”, said Dirk Rudolph, professor at Lund's division of atomic physics.

Ununpentium sits in a field of theoretical elements with atomic numbers from 113 to 118 and has proved popular with science fiction enthusiasts and conspiracy theorists. The latter have claimed that the element actually comes from UFOs, rather than being created in labs, while the former have used it as a fictional source for weapons in computer games.

The element is unlikely to prove very useful though, since it's highly unstable and has an extremely short half-life – under 200 milliseconds.

New elements are traditionally named by their discoverer, which would give Sergei Dmitriev from the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions the honour of naming ununpentium if it's officially added to the periodic table.

The most recently added new elements were livermorium, which has the atomic number 116, and flerovium, atomic number 114, both officially named in May 2012. The elements were discovered by the same collaboration that first detected ununpentium, that of the Flerov Lab with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

The full study of ununpentium will be published in the Physical Review Letters. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.