RIKEN Group Led By Kosuke Morita Credited With Discovering Element 113

Posted: Jan 5 2016, 11:57pm CST | by , in News | Latest Science News


Element 113
Photo credit: RIKEN

A RIKEN group led by Kosuke Morita has been credited by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) for discovering the elusive Elusive 113 – the first element on the periodic table in Asia.

Following almost 10 years of intensive labor, the IUPAP together with the Joint Working Party of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) granted Morita’s group recognition for discovering the element on December 31, 2015.

Morita’s group worked from RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-based Science (RNC). But they actually started their experiments in the late 80s by using RIKEN’s Linear Accelerator Facility and the GARIS ion separator where the group was set to determine new synthetic superheavy elements.

In the finding detailed in the Journal of Physical Society of Japan, the team revealed they faced extreme difficulties at finding new superheavy elements because these decayed very fast – lasting less than a thousandth of a second. Since they needed a breakthrough to fully understand the structure of atomic nuclei, the scientists persevered with the hopes of discovering the “island of stability” where elements of longer half-lives exist.

The experiment at RIKEN researching for Element 113 commenced in September 2003. "For over seven years," Morita said, "we continued to search for data conclusively identifying element 113, but we just never saw another event. I was not prepared to give up, however, as I believed that one day, if we persevered, luck would fall upon us again." 

Then on August 12, 2012 the Morita group got a breakthrough in their research and the IUPAC revealed they had the right to be recognized for their discovery and also the privilege to give a name to their discovery – a development that will be published in the early 2016 issue of IUPAC journal Pure and Applied Chemistry (PAC).

Morita is not fully done yet. His group will be proposing a name for Element 113, but he is also furthering his research to establishing the existence of Element 119.

"Now that we have conclusively demonstrated the existence of element 113," he says, "we plan to look to the uncharted territory of element 119 and beyond, aiming to examine the chemical properties of the elements in the seventh and eighth rows of the periodic table, and someday to discover the island of stability."

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/52" rel="author">Charles I. Omedo</a>
Charles is covering the latest discoveries in science and health as well as new developments in technology. He is the Chief Editor or Intel-News.




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