Dubna lab finds second isotope of element 114
16 July 1999

The island of stability - for many years an uninhabited region in the chart of the nuclides - has started to look decidedly crowded. Atoms heavier than uranium tend to be very short-lived but theorists have predicted that there is a region of very stable heavy nuclei. The most stable of these superheavy nuclei is thought to have 114 protons and 184 neutrons. In January a long-lived isotope with 114 protons and 175 neutrons was detected at the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions (JINR) in Dubna, Russia. In June elements 116 and 118 were detected at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. Now a second isotope of element 114 - one with 173 neutrons - has been detected at Dubna (Nature 400 242).

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