The Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions is world-known for the discoveries in the synthesis of superheavy elements. Element 105 in the D. Mendeleev Table is called ‘Dubnium’ for physics studies at Dubna. Element 114 holds the name ‘Flerovium’, in memory of the lab founder Georgij Flerov. Academician Yuri Oganessian and colleagues discovered the first long-lived isotope of element 114. It was acknowledged by IUPAC as ‘Flerovium’ along with element 116 ‘Livermorium’.
Since 2000 and to date we have obtained quite a lot of these elements, and many isotopes. We’ve actually got over 50 new nuclei that exhibited the fact that these superheavy elements do exist. They are much more stable than their lighter ancestors. It means that the nuclear structure can dramatically change the landscape between the peninsula ridge and the island in the sea of instability. This panorama of this existing world and its borders has proved to be right. Today we can say, to some extent that the first phase of research is over. We have found what we searched for.
Dubna scientists carried out experiments on the synthesis of element 117.
From the start the Oak Ridge laboratory joined the studies of element 117. All isotopes were produced there. Berklium-249 is quite unique – it lives only for 320 days of the half-life period and becomes a radioactive isotope of californium-249. American physicists amassed the isotope and delivered it to us. We have accomplished a run of two experiments on the synthesis of element 117.
IUPAC officially announced the submission of applications for elements 113,115, 117 and 118. They all have been initially synthesized at Dubna.
The laboratory is approaching a new phase of studies. A new challenge is set now – to start in 2017 experiments on studies of elements 119 and 120. For this purpose the first in the world specialized factory of superheavy elements is under construction.
International teams continue the search for the stability island – the European centre for heavy ion research in Germany, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the US, the Japanese Institute for research in physics and chemistry and many others.
Absolutely the same experiments have been carried out in different laboratories that obtained similar results. That means that the scientific community employ the data and we are acknowledged by the world. This is our starting point now. We even have an advantage as we had an early start and proceed in our studies.
The fundamental role of research in superheavy elements’ synthesis is in the insight into the boundaries of the periodic system, the nuclear structure, nuclear stability and the nucleosynthesis process that created all elements in the Universe.
Научно-информационный отдел ОИЯИ, 2014