Agriculture
New Gene Fights Potato Blight
Seeds of the Future
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Amphibians
Poison Dart Frogs
Frogs and Toads
Salamanders and Newts
Animals
How to Silence a Cricket
Chicken Talk
Awake at Night
Behavior
Math is a real brain bender
The Disappearing Newspaper
Memory by Hypnosis
Birds
Roadrunners
Mockingbirds
Seagulls
Chemistry and Materials
The chemistry of sleeplessness
Heaviest named element is official
Scientist Profile: Wally Gilbert
Computers
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Look into My Eyes
Graphene's superstrength
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dinosaur Eggs-citement
Dino Takeout for Mammals
Ancient Critter Caught Shedding Its Skin
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Coral Islands Survive a Tsunami
Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth
Pollution at the ends of the Earth
Environment
Improving the Camel
Whale Watch
Blooming Jellies
Finding the Past
Early Maya Writing
Prehistoric Trips to the Dentist
If Only Bones Could Speak
Fish
Lampreys
Perches
Lungfish
Food and Nutrition
Recipe for Health
The mercury in that tuna
Symbols from the Stone Age
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. That vs. Which
Subject and Verb Agreement
Who vs. Whom
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Exam Preparation
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Mathematics
Setting a Prime Number Record
GSAT Mathematics Quiz, Teaching Math, teaching anxiety
Prime Time for Cicadas
Human Body
Heart Revival
Hey batter, wake up!
A Long Haul
Invertebrates
Moths
Tapeworms
Worms
Mammals
Cocker Spaniels
Bobcats
African Hippopotamus
Parents
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Physics
Speedy stars
Dreams of Floating in Space
Electric Backpack
Plants
Stalking Plants by Scent
Sweet, Sticky Science
Getting the dirt on carbon
Reptiles
Cobras
Anacondas
Rattlesnakes
Space and Astronomy
Cool as a Jupiter
Gravity Tractor as Asteroid Mover
The two faces of Mars
Technology and Engineering
Space Umbrellas to Shield Earth
Algae Motors
Bionic Bacteria
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Preposition?
What is a Verb?
Transportation
Where rivers run uphill
Middle school science adventures
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Weather
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Either Martians or Mars has gas
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Add your Article

The newest superheavy in town

Scientists around the world are on a quest to find all the elements possible in the universe. Everything is made of elements, so understanding elements is a way of understanding all the matter around us. Some of these elements, hydrogen or oxygen for example, can be easily found on Earth. Others, especially atoms that are heavier than uranium, are hard to study. They have to be made in the lab and, even then, usually decay, or break down into other smaller atoms, right after they’re created.Recently, a team of physicists from Russia and the United States created a never-before-seen superheavy element in the laboratory. Right now, it’s known simply as “element 117” or “ununseptium.” The experiment was led by Yuri Oganessian, a physicist at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia. Sigurd Hofmann, a nuclear physicist in Darmstadt, Germany, told Science News that the results are “convincing.” Those names for the element are not official. A new element doesn’t receive an official name until more teams of scientists can also make it in the laboratory. This stage of the scientific process, called verification, is important to make sure that the original experiment was not a fluke. Verification can take a long time. In February of this year, for example, element 112 finally received the official name “Copernicum,” and it had been first identified in 1996. At the center of every atom is a nucleus, and inside the nucleus are particles called neutrons and protons. Each element has a characteristic number of protons, and inside an atom of the newly created element are 117 protons, which is why it is called “element 117.”The new element was created at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in a machine called a cyclotron. A cyclotron may sound like a roller coaster — and for atoms, it is a wild ride. A cyclotron smashes together different kinds of elements at super-high speeds, and scientists watch to see what happens just after the crash. In this case, the scientists used a cyclotron to bombard atoms of berkelium with atoms of calcium. Specifically, an isotope, or variation, of berkelium (berkelium-249) was bombarded with an isotope of calcium, calcium-48. The calcium isotope had 28 neutrons compared with calcium’s usual 20. Add that to the usual 20 protons in calcium, and you have calcium-48. Berkelium is a heavy element that does not occur in nature — it also had to be created in a laboratory. In fact, berkelium was created in a laboratory in Tennessee, then transported around the world to Russia for this experiment. And what an experiment it was: For 150 days, the scientists smashed calcium-48 atoms into berkelium-249 atoms, and at the end of the experiment the team had created exactly six atoms of element 117, according to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where some of the other scientists on the project work. And for all that work, those six atoms didn’t last very long: After a tiny fraction of a second, they had all decayed. A heavy atom decays when its nucleus breaks apart, and the heavy atom breaks down into smaller atoms, each having fewer protons in their nuclei than were in the original hefty atom. It may seem like the researchers went through a lot of work for six rare atoms that quickly vanished, but the scientists are excited. They’ve been looking for element 117 for some time — both elements 116 and 118 have already been made in a laboratory, but until now no one had seen element 117. Almost all heavy elements decay quickly, but scientists are excited because superheavy elements such as 116, 117 and 118 don’t vanish as quickly as other superheavies. Scientists have been hoping to find a group of these atoms together. Such a group would be a step toward finding an “island of stability” on the Periodic Table, and element 117 may be part of the group.

The newest superheavy in town
The newest superheavy in town








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™