Last summer, when more than 8 million trillion calcium ions blasted a thin film of americium atoms nonstop for more than a month, the collisions generated four atoms of never-before-seen element 115, a Russian-U.S. team now reports.
Each of those putative atoms of element 115 disintegrated within fractions of a second by spontaneously ejecting an alpha particle, which...
Making heavy, artificial atomic nuclei has long been part of the program for answering fundamental questions about matter and the universe, but it hasn't been easy. Physicists are looking toward techniques that forge hefty nuclei by fusing lighter, radioactive ones. Now, results of an accelerator experiment at Oak Ridge (Tenn.) National Laboratory suggest that the approach may prove even more...