The quest for the heaviest elements. Dr David Jenkins University of York. Overview. (Nuclear) Physics (Nuclear) Chemistry History of the 20th Century Psychology, what motivates us? The Curse of Heavy Elements Fraud in science and how we respond…. What is an element?.
Dr David Jenkins
University of York
All science is either physics or stamp collecting
These elements were first produced by bombarding 238U with deutrerons with Berkeley cyclotron in 1941
By such means, large amounts of material could be made and the chemistry studied in detail
At the peak of cold war, perhaps 300000kg of plutonium was stockpiled
Some heroic and patient chemistry was needed
Separation relied on using knowledge of chemical analogue
“As a young man I was called obstinate but now I am called insistent"
Russia plays the game with key advantages:
Dedicated facility - long running times
48Ca beam obtained from reactors
Actinide targets e.g. Pu, Cm