Walt Loveland, et. al, recently published a paper in Physical Review Letters. As part of the publication and promotion, Physical Review Letters, requested a short summary of the article be written in layman’s terms. Below is that summary:
OSU Scientists Explain Synthesis of New Chemical Elements
Exploring the limits of existence of the chemical elements is a driving force for chemists and physicists. OSU scientists (Yanez et al.) have reported (in Physical Review Letters) an important step in understanding
the production of the heaviest chemical elements and their survival. Their novel approach, data and interpretation are ” of key importance for a better understanding”, of the synthesis reactions.
The heaviest elements have been produced by hot fusion reactions at unexpectedly high rates. The authors have measured the survival probability of one of these nuclei, 274Hs, at high excitation energy, finding a unusually high survival and have shown that survival is due to dissipative effects during de-excitation. These dissipative effects decrease the probability of fission occurring in these nuclei and thus increase their survival. This finding helps explain the paradox of hot fusion reactions that make nuclei at high excitation energies (where the effect of nuclear shell structure is “washed out”, and the apparent stabilizing effects of “the island of stability” in these synthetic reactions.
Please stay tuned for links to the article!