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Element 115 approaching confirmation nearly ten years after its discovery

Scientists are one step closer to confirming the super-heavy Element 115.

Element 115, temporarily titled Ununpentium. (Credit: Greg Robson)

Element 115, temporarily titled Ununpentium. (Credit: Greg Robson)

A Swedish team of scientists recent conducted experiments on Element 115 at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Germany. An element’s atomic number, 115 in this case, represents the number of protons an element contains. For this study, LiveScience explains that the research team “shot a super-fast beam of calcium (which has 20 protons) at a thin film of americium, the element with 95 protons. When these atomic nuclei collided, some fused together to create short-lived atoms with 115 protons.”

This new research was led by Dirk Rudolph, a professor at the division of atomic physics at Lund University. He explains that, although scientists from the Glenn T. Seaborg Institute and the Chemical Biology and Nuclear Science Division at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced the discovery of Element 115 in 2004, it has yet to be officially acknowledged because independent confirmation is required to measure the exact proton number. Rudolph and his team’s recent experiments did that.

An illustration of the atom collision creating Element 115. (Credit: Thomas Tegge, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

An illustration of the atom collision creating Element 115. (Credit: Thomas Tegge, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

The next step, as the BBC explains, is for the potential new element to be “reviewed by a committee which consists of members of the international unions of pure and applied physics and chemistry. They will decide whether to recommend further experiments before the discovery of the new element is acknowledged.”

Element 115 received attention in 1989 when Area 51 whistleblower Bob Lazar asserted that extraterrestrial spacecraft at Area 51’s S4 facility were powered by the element. KLAS-TV investigative reporter George Knapp published a story following the discovery of Element 115 in 2004. In the article, Knapp spoke with Lazar about the 2004 discovery, something to which Knapp referred as “a profound development.”

Bob Lazar

Bob Lazar

But he pointed out that “the material decayed almost instantly.” Then Knapp reported, “Lazar says the first batch was only a starting point and that he will be proven right in the long run.” Lazar explained, “I’d like to see them continue to work and produce different isotopes of 115 because they’re gonna come up with a handful of different varieties and they’re gonna come up with a stable isotope, and that’s what we’re interested.” But based on the new experiments, that hasn’t happened yet. The element still only lasts for less than a second.

Nuclear chemist Glenn T. Seaborg proposed the possibility of an “island of stability” in the late 1960s. Explaining this concept, Popular Science describes:

Nuclear physicists hypothesize that a magic number of protons and neutrons could produce enough binding energy to counteract the forces that tear apart the heavy nuclei, and render the new elements as stable as the common elements that exist outside of atom smashers. The physicists called these magic numbers the “island of stability” because the elements with the numbers cluster together on the periodic table, flanked on all sides by ephemeral elements that dissipate in nanoseconds.

Unfortunately, due to its rapid decay, Element 115, like its neighboring Element 114, doesn’t seem to occupy the “island of stability.”

Watch Island of Stability on PBS. See more from NOVA scienceNOW.

LiveScience explains that Element 115 has yet to be officially named, “but it is temporarily called ununpentium, roughly based on the Latin and Greek words for the digits in its atomic number, 115.”

The new research will be published in The Physical Review Letters.

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About Jason McClellan

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Jason McClellan is a UFO journalist and the producer/co-host of the web series Spacing Out! He is also the web content manager and staff writer for OpenMinds.tv, and a co-organizer and technical producer of the International UFO Congress. As a founding member of Open Minds, Jason served as a writer and editor for the now defunct Open Minds magazine. He has appeared on Syfy, NatGeo, and, most recently, he co-starred on H2’s Hangar 1: The UFO Files.
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8 comments

  1. avatar

    I wonder if an isotope of this new discovery would be super-conducting at room temperature?

  2. avatar

    Just the fact that they discovered this element years after Lazar spoke about it is amazing and adds a lot of credibility to his case. I think our government has ufo technology and has been attempting to reverse engineer it.

  3. avatar

    Image result for ununpentium
    Image result for ununpentium
    Image result for ununpentium
    Image result for ununpentiumMore images
    Ununpentium
    Chemical Element
    Ununpentium is the temporary name of a synthetic superheavy element in the periodic table that has the temporary symbol Uup and has the atomic number 115. Wikipedia
    Symbol: Uup
    Discovered: 2004
    Atomic number: 115
    CAS ID: 54085-64-2
    Atomic mass: 288 u
    Chemical series: Metal, Pnictogen, Period 7 element

  4. avatar

    Dennis Dwyer, since you made your post 3 of the 4 patent holders were killed in a downed plane leaving the patent to the world’s wealthiest man

  5. avatar

    The element 115 that we’ve created is too short of neutrons to approach stability. That doesn’t mean that element 115 with a sufficiently high neutron count can’t or won’t be stable. We just haven’t (yet) the means to create a nucleus with a sufficiently high neutron count.

  6. avatar

    I just find it funny how completely brainwashed the general public is. You can throw facts and evidence such as this out there and yet the programming seems to prevail. Bob Lazar spoke the truth and people criticized him. Now his words were realized as truth and people are still criticizing.
    What the f is going on??? Skeptics just received the proof they requested and they still are trying to justify this as just a conspiracy. You people are retarded by media. You ask for proof, you get it. Otherwise we are just conspiracy theorists (crazy) Now that you have clear proof, somehow you find an unreasonable explanation as to how this can not be true. Murphy’s law ppl. Use common sense and logic.
    Why would the media tell you the truth???! It is just another corporation funded by the goverment!!! WHEN IS THE LAST TIME A POLITICIAN HELD HIS WORD? Stop being sheep and stop eating the “truth as it is fed to you”. Be a wolf and look for it. It is your duty as a an intelligent being.

  7. avatar

    So, after years and years they can finally produce element 115. Soon, (talking in years) they will be able to mass produce it. Tells me Bob Lazar wasn’t lying at all. He was written off as a crazy person. Only to be validated years later. How sad.

  8. avatar

    element 115,name
    in 1948, roswell nm, the triangle shaped ,gold, bronze colored, source of that crashed vehicle’s propulsion system, that chip, fit into a chip holder. it, the chip, has a name, a part number, and of the several inhabitents in it, one lived for a while, learned english, was a known lier, and if one were to know the true name, for a non earth element, that powers the run about, ask the non earthling owner ?
    after the greata treaty, 1954, signed by eisenhouer, them fellows imported 500 lbs of the E 115 stuff. i wrote a letter to yuri onganassian, while at lawrence ,UCB, above the ucb campass, on the subject of true E 115, and where to get a sample of the genuine stuff, from area 51. i got no response, he, the russian, via us taxpayer funding, got E 118 et al.
    Moscow funded about half the R&D, usa the other, neither is located on zeta riticulum, the possible source of the 500 lbs of non raido active, non heat producing E 115.
    thanks
    dr white

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