After scientists ran out of “natural” elements to discover, they raced to make “synthetic” atoms
The periodic table of elements just got a new member. At least, maybe it did—it’s hard to tell. Having run out of new elements to discover, scientists have, over the past several decades, been making “synthetic” atoms, too bloated to exist in nature, which survive for just an instant before they splinter in radioactive decay.
But this is increasingly difficult as the atoms get bigger. The new element recently claimed by the Nishina Centre for…
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