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Stable Roentgenium Claimed Found In Gold

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the check-your-wedding-band dept.

Education 160

eldavojohn writes "Amnon Marinov, a physicist specializing in super heavy elements, claims that a stable isotope of roentgenium is commonly found alongside gold, just in very small quantities that we could not measure before. To prove this, he boiled gold in a vacuum, postulating that as the gold evaporated, the roentgenium should remain. He did this for two weeks and then passed the resulting mess through a mass spectrometer and was left with several peaks that could be explained away except for one. Marinov lead the team that found the first super heavy 122 thorium isotope in nature a few years back and now claims that, despite all indications that this super heavy element shouldn't exist longer than a few seconds, he has found a stable isomer of roentgenium in nature. Is he on to something, or overlooking a simpler explanation in his quest for evidence of the island of stability long theorized by physicists?"

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frost soviet poster underlords (-1, Redundant)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424618)

I for one welcome our first post rottengenian guards in soviet union they protect YOU. Or something like that.

Isomer? (0)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424640)

...he has found a stable isomer of roentgenium in nature.

You mean isotope?

Re:Isomer? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34424784)

"Nuclear Isomers" exist, which refers to excitation states inside the nucleus. What he is saying is that such a excited state in the nucleus makes the element 'more stable' than its ground state, and thus doesn't decay.

Re:Isomer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34425336)

Isomer? No. Homer. He has worked at a nuclear power plant and snacks on things laying around.

The gold was from his teeth.

First Moo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34424714)

Mooooooooo!

Re:First Moo! (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425096)

i worship ur cleverness

Re:First Moo! (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#34427554)

An udder waste of time!

I'll take two (2)

hellkyng (1920978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424750)

Is there a roentgenium market yet? For the savvy investor looking to diversify from gold.

Yes (5, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424780)

Simply boil all your gold into vapor, and you'll have an even more valuable collection of roentgenium. You won't be able to see it, but it's there, trust me.

If you have any further questions you can ask my operative, conveniently located outside your house looking after a totally unrelated condensing jar.

Re:Yes (1)

Gofyerself (1709970) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424892)

You must be from Nigeria.

Re:Yes (2)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34427624)

And I will be happy to recycle that vaporized gold for you, just so the neighbourhood children don't accidentally inhale it.

Re:Yes (1)

black_lbi (1107229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34428198)

Step2: Sell the roentgenium.
Step3: Buy more gold?

Re:I'll take two (1)

machine321 (458769) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424900)

Once again, the conservative, sandwich-heavy portfolio pays off for the hungry investor.

Re:I'll take two (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424970)

Spam is an excellent alternative to gold. It's inflation proof lasts for ever and you can eat it if the balloon goes up.

Re:I'll take two (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425116)

Thats great I've got a hundred megabytes of the stuff in my mailer.

Re:I'll take two (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426522)

How many MB does it take to equal 1 gram, using E=mc^2 and making some assumptions about how much energy it takes to create, transmit and store 1 MB of information? I suspect you don't even have a picogram.

Re:I'll take two (1)

silverglade00 (1751552) | more than 3 years ago | (#34427206)

Probably not, but if he has a hundred MB of it, maybe what he really needs is an ounce of prevention.

Re:I'll take two (1)

Straterra (1045994) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425118)

Whoopwhoop whoop whoop whoop!

Interesting if true (5, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424764)

Roentgenium is element #111, right below gold on the periodic table, and well within the zone of "highly unstable elements". Not just "unstable" - it's well into the group of elements that decay in seconds. The most stable isotope discovered so far, Rg 281, has a half-life of just 20 seconds. So I have some doubts about this - every other "stable transuranic element" story I've heard ended up being a mistake or a hoax.

I'm also wondering how Marinov suspected it would be in gold. The only link I can find is that they're both group 11 elements, but by that logic you should be able to find tellurium in sulfur, which isn't the case.

Re:Interesting if true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34424844)

Marinov lead the team

Is this a chemistry joke?

Re:Interesting if true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34424890)

but by that logic you should be able to find tellurium in sulfur, which isn't the case.

Have you looked?

Re:Interesting if true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34424930)

often times, when mining platinum, gold and silver silver, as well as some copper, is present is large amounts. He probably guessed it would continue to the next heaviest element.

Re:Interesting if true (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425992)

Really? Silver silver? You mean like ture silver, as in mithril? Damn, has anyone tried to make chain mail from it?

Re:Interesting if true (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34424946)

Not true. I just boiled a huge amount sulfur in vacuum, and a mass of stable tellurium remained.

Re:Interesting if true (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424988)

Actually platinum is the element just below gold... :)

Re:Interesting if true (1)

Dthief (1700318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425394)

depends on the order you stack the pieces

Re:Interesting if true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34425546)

I guess that depends on your definition of 'below'. My definition would be 'underneath', and unless you hold your periodic table sideways, platinum is not below gold, but it is before it.

Your periodic table... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34425770)

You're holding it sideways.

Re:Interesting if true (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426818)

In an alphabetical list of the element's names, hafnium is the element just below gold, and in an alphabetical list of chemical symbols, boron is just below gold, but that's not important now. And stop calling me "Shirley".

Re:Interesting if true (4, Interesting)

pookemon (909195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425012)

but by that logic you should be able to find tellurium in sulfur, which isn't the case

Maybe it is, but not at levels that have been detectable before, as in this case. However the following link seems to indicate that Tellurium is found in Sulfides [google.com] .

Re:Interesting if true (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425040)

His method is posted and well documented so it shouldn't be too long before someone repeats the process to see if they get the same results. The only question is how much gold do you need to get enough atoms to show up in the scan.

Re:Interesting if true (4, Informative)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425074)

I'm also wondering how Marinov suspected it would be in gold. The only link I can find is that they're both group 11 elements, but by that logic you should be able to find tellurium in sulfur, which isn't the case.

Sulfur is more reactive, so the geological and chemical processes which form sulfur deposits also separate it from gold. Gold doesn't react with as many things as sulfur, so an element with similar characteristics will be more diluted in sulfur than in a gold deposit. On the other hand, if this element does indeed also travel with sulfur then there's a chance that larger amount might be in the larger sulfur deposits even if there's less per ton.

Re:Interesting if true (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425130)

If it does have an obscure stable state it could make a fantastic rocket fuel.

Or bomb.

Re:Interesting if true (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425182)

I'm also wondering how Marinov suspected it would be in gold. The only link I can find is that they're both group 11 elements, but by that logic you should be able to find tellurium in sulfur, which isn't the case.

Of course not, everyone knows that elements form their cliques based on their classification, not the group # they've been assigned. This is why you see Hydrogen sleeping around with all the other non-metals and not really with any of the Alkali Metals. Everyone knows that Sulfur is a non-metal and Tellurium is a metalloid, and metalloids are known for being really a really exclusive group - they wouldn't even let Aluminium in despite her flexible standards.

No, I'm pretty sure Marinov studied the social situation amongst the elements pretty closely and determined that transitional metals - since they are going through puberty - are noticing all those really weird little changes. I mean gold has become a little more malleable to the ladies, copper and silver are noticing their skin has started conducting these little tiny dots.

Its only a natural part that Gold has started to notice its growing a new element in odd places. Don't be worried, its all part of the process.

Re:Interesting if true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34425582)

Mod parent +1 funny

Re:Interesting if true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34426300)

I can recommend a good doctor.

Re:Interesting if true (2)

Dthief (1700318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425364)

He did claim to find another element (122) in gold previously. So probably just assumed every element could be found in a piece of gold

Re:Interesting if true (1)

fatp (1171151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34427238)

I guess he is just hoping to get sponsors for his experiments by providing him a lot of gold!

Re:Interesting if true (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34425624)

Goldschmidt Classification [wikipedia.org] . Although I too have my doubts about the stable Rg, there is some reason to the madness of expecting certain elements to be found with other ones.

Re:Interesting if true (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426278)

Interesting. I knew there ought to be some reason, but I didn't know what that reason was.

Re:Interesting if true (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425970)

This is related to the predicted "sea of stability" that exist inside the zone of highly unstable elements. Look at the last link of the summary for details. Rg 289 should be close to this peak of stability

Re:Interesting if true (4, Interesting)

WalksOnDirt (704461) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426748)

Roentgenium is element #111, right below gold on the periodic table, and well within the zone of "highly unstable elements".

Elements 110 through 114 have long been expected to be an island of stability. The problem is that we cannot stuff enough neutrons in, as Rg 281 still has too few. So far, the heaviest isotope created is also the most stable. The only problem is that the odd atomic number elements are expected to be less stable, so that 110, 112 or 114 would be more believable. I don't think it's really likely that he has found Rg, but it's not impossible.

Rg, if it exists, would indeed be found as a trace element in Au.

Re:Interesting if true (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34427698)

but by that logic you should be able to find tellurium in sulfur, which isn't the case.

I don't know, have you checked all the sulfur?

Re:Interesting if true (2)

Megane (129182) | more than 3 years ago | (#34427700)

Maybe you don't find tellurium in sulfur, but it sure can take the place of Sulfur. Selenium can give you some pretty bad breath if it gets into your body chemistry, but if you get tellurium into your body, you'll have the worst kind of body odor ever, and it takes months for it to wear off.

You do NOT want "tellurium breath". [corante.com]

Re:Interesting if true (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34427976)

I'm also wondering how Marinov suspected it would be in gold.

Let's see... his test consist of boiling away a few kilos or even many kilos of gold, practically implicitly meaning that at least some of it cannot be recovered...

Oh, I could see a reason. Though I would've been looking in, say, Palladium.

Neal Stephenson - The Baroque Cycle (1)

oakbox (414095) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424768)

Fiction comes to life?

In the Baroque Cycle, the background story is all about a special, heavy form of gold with magical powers.

Neat.

Re:Neal Stephenson - The Baroque Cycle (2)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424860)

In the Baroque Cycle, the background story is all about a special, heavy form of gold with magical powers.

Amazing that I slogged my way through 900 pages of the Baroque Cycle before deciding I couldn't take any more, and yet I still have no clue about this background story you mention.

Thankfully Anathem was not quite as unbearable, if no less overbearing.

Re:Neal Stephenson - The Baroque Cycle (1)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424996)

It gets better after the first volume.

Re:Neal Stephenson - The Baroque Cycle (2)

glwtta (532858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425256)

I slogged my way through 900 pages of the Baroque Cycle

Well, that's what, like half of the first volume?

Re:Neal Stephenson - The Baroque Cycle (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426130)

Yes, I'm slogging my way thru King of the Vagabonds right now, so please - no spoilers!

Re:Neal Stephenson - The Baroque Cycle (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426196)

Snape kills Dumbledore

Re:Neal Stephenson - The Baroque Cycle (1)

nonguru (1777998) | more than 3 years ago | (#34427100)

Is it the writing style, the plotting or the concepts or all the above that's confusing?

Re:Neal Stephenson - The Baroque Cycle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34425004)

Yes, it's exactly like in the book -- magical powers included!

Please move from our nerd section and go sit with the geeks or dorks. (If I needed another reason to skip reading Stephenson in favor of other authors, your post would do it.)

Re:Neal Stephenson - The Baroque Cycle (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425026)

Neal Stephenson... didn't he write a book about the inevitable result of my skiing, "Snowcrash"?

Re:Neal Stephenson - The Baroque Cycle (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425160)

When I go skiing its always "Treecrash".

Re:Neal Stephenson - The Baroque Cycle (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425850)

Sonny Bono, is that you? Posting to Slashdot from the great beyond?

Re:Neal Stephenson - The Baroque Cycle (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426140)

Yes, and it's followed by my post-ski-vacation sequel, "Nocash."

Why just with Gold? (1)

Froggels (1724218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424790)

If it does exist could it also be found along side other elements in similar quantities?

Re:Why just with Gold? (1)

etinin (1144011) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424868)

It is closer chemically to gold, therefore gold would be a good starting place.

Prior work was flawed (5, Interesting)

kiwix (1810960) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424794)

Here is what Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] says about the previous discovery of Unbibium by this the team:

In 2008, it was claimed to have been discovered in natural thorium samples[1] but that claim has now been dismissed by recent repetitions of the experiment using more accurate techniques.

Re:Prior work was flawed (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424870)

Yeah... pretty much... At least Unbibium was somewhat more plausible being closer to the island of relative stability; element 111 isn't even close in nuclear terms.

Re:Prior work was flawed (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426042)

How so ?
On the contrary it is almost exactly on the peak :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Island-of-Stability.png [wikipedia.org]

Re:Prior work was flawed (3, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426248)

111 has an odd number of protons which is strike number one. odd numbers of protons or neutrons are much less stable and strike number two is that the island of stability is for the most part concerning stability against fission and alpha radiation decay.
Strike number three is that the stability of isotopes of element 111 are markedly less stable than isotopes of elements 114-116

Re:Prior work was flawed (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426482)

It was an honest question, I know close to nothing about nuclear physics...
The wikipedia picture is very incorrect then ? I see no tendency on it for odd numbers of protons to bring instability and no element in the 114-116 range is picture as having any sort of stability...

Also, according to this graph ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Table_isotopes_en.svg [wikipedia.org] ) alpha decay and fission seem to be the only decays happening in these regions, no ?

Re:Prior work was flawed (4, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34427048)

Take a look at this [wisc.edu] .

Another factor affecting the stability of a nucleus is whether the number of protons and neutrons is even or odd. Among the 354 known stable isotopes, 157 (almost half) have an even number of protons and an even number of neutrons. Only five have an odd number of both kinds of nucleons

The reason why this is so is that nuclei just like atoms in chemistry have shells (in chemistry it's electrons with nuclei it's protons and neutrons) filled shells are more stable which is why there is an island of stability. The island of stability is centered around the magic numbers 114 (the number of protons) and 184 (the number of neutrons) magic numbers of either protons or neutrons tend to create more stable nuclei. nuclei with odd numbers of either are less stable in the same way that Fluorine is less stable chemically compared to Neon. The nuclear shell is not full and is therefore less stable to various modes of decay.

Your point concerning alpha and fission modes of decay is more likely to increase the half life significantly excluding electron capture and beta decay modes.

elements 114-116 have isotopes with half lives that are significantly higher than nuclei in the 100-113 range as these lower nuclei tend to have half lives measured in fractions of a second. The island of stability is a misnomer. It'd be far more accurate to say that it is an island of relative not absolute stability. The odds of finding any nuclei beyond uranium with a comparable half life or even stable nuclei is remote.

Re:Prior work was flawed (3, Interesting)

careysub (976506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425894)

Here is what Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] says about the previous discovery of Unbibium by this the team:

In 2008, it was claimed to have been discovered in natural thorium samples[1] but that claim has now been dismissed by recent repetitions of the experiment using more accurate techniques.

This is like the guy who keeps claiming new record-shattering high temperature superconductors which are are never confirmed by anyone (and who keeps showing up on Slashdot). Far-fetched claims from Arxiv.org should be prominently flagged as suspect if they are going t get posted here. I have yet to see one pan out.

I feel this is dubious (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34424858)

The previous discovery of Element 122 in thorium was shown to be incorrect at higher levels of accuracy; thus, it seems unlikely that this one will bear fruit, especially since roentgenium shouldn't be stable for more than seconds.
It still may bear out, but I consider that extremely unlikely.

Re:I feel this is dubious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34425230)

Anonymous cowards should not use the word "I": it has no antecedent.

Re:I feel this is dubious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34425818)

The previous discovery of Element 122 in thorium was shown to be incorrect at higher levels of accuracy; thus, it seems unlikely that this one will bear fruit, especially since roentgenium shouldn't be stable for more than seconds.
It still may bear out, but I consider that extremely unlikely.

He considers this more likely. That is why he is doing this. At least read the summary. New things happen everyday. Just need to keep an open enough mind.

Error in TFS (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34424984)

Minor issue here, but TFA disagrees with TFS.

Article says this guy held a vacuum above liquid gold, not boiling gold. The vacuum encourages evaporation by raising the vapor pressure of gold (and removing gas phase atoms there), but not to boiling. The difference between the melting and boiling points for gold is 1800K at 1 atm.

Re:Error in TFS (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425168)

How could liquid gold not boil, if it is in a vacuum?

Re:Error in TFS (1)

zygotic mitosis (833691) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426774)

As a chemistry undergrad currently studying physical chemistry...

He holds the liquid gold at 1127C. It would take an approximate pressure of 2.1 * 10^-7 atm for liquid gold to boil at 1127C. Now, it strikes me as very unlikely that he is using a close-to-perfect vacuum for this, especially since running any vacuum at all will encourage evaporation, but without further data, who knows, right?

Re:Error in TFS (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426868)

Simple - it could be below the boiling point. It's not like every liquid boils at 1K just because it's in a vacuum.

*boils Krugerrands* (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34425030)

Hey what the hell?! They dissolved in the water!

Re:*boils Krugerrands* (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34427122)

Those would be a poor choice, since they're "crown gold". This is an alloy with copper, which makes the coin more durable. As for dissolving, this is possible if the "water" was actually aqua regia--a particular type of acid that dissolves gold.

Then again, perhaps your Krugerrands are only gold on the outside, with a chocolate center. A terrible ripoff. It wouldn't be so bad, except that the chocolate they put in those coins is some of the worst candy ever. Even when I was a kid I was like, "Blech!".

Marinov "lead" the team? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34425042)

Yet another Slashdot submission/summary with the usual lousy grammar...

And I'm sure there's a gold into lead joke in there somewhere.

But can it be used for (1)

david.emery (127135) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425060)

Cold Fusion??? ;-)

Re:But can it be used for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34427002)

Codfusion is dead! Long live PHP!

Those who don't know their history... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425084)

Are we doomed to a repeat of the Fleischmann-Pons experiment every few years?

Re:Those who don't know their history... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34427830)

Are we doomed to a repeat of the Fleischmann-Pons experiment every few years?

Hopefully, yes.

That's how science makes progress. We don't know in advance whether some particular discovery is accurate or not. Others have to verify it for themselves first. If there were no negative "confirmations" that would be ... well, I think the word is "impossible".

It's part of the process.

What is this story tagged Russia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34425176)

Why is this story tagged Russia? A. Marinov is associated with Racah Institute of Physics, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Re:What is this story tagged Russia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34425542)

What indeed?

Re:What is this story tagged Russia? (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426062)

Yeah, we all know that in Soviet Russia, the gold boils you.

Same guy refuted in '08 and '70s about new element (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34425248)

I remember, last time this guy said he had something in 2008, it was refuted pretty strongly. He also made a claim in the 70s that turned out to be bogus.

Last time, the network of blogs that brought up skepticism got a lot of comments about how Israelis are smarter by genetic disposition. It was really weird.

For example, this, [blogspot.com] but I can't find the others I remember reading.

So, probably shouldn't give this guy too much attention, he's not a very good scientist it seems.

 

New material for armored vehicles? (1)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425268)

I believe this is denser than uranium. Is Israel planning to eventually build specially equipped armored vehicles?

replacing depleted uranium (1)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425628)

I believe this is denser than uranium. Is Israel planning to eventually build specially equipped armored vehicles?

Correct, Rt is 111, U is 92.

My first thought was along the same lines; replacing depleted uranium [wikipedia.org] with stable Roentgenium would be safer, more politically acceptable, and perhaps even cheaper.

... my second thought is that this is too good to be true; it flies in the face of a lot of established assumptions on the elements and its proof could lead to some large revisions to how we understand things work. Occam's razor [wikipedia.org] suggests this is too improbable to be true.

Re:replacing depleted uranium (2)

lgw (121541) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425886)

Tungsten is used instea of depleted uranium. Hardness matters more than density for weapons. Not that there's any special danger associated with depleted uranium in the envronment - like lead, it causes problems, but no more than any other bullet.

Re:replacing depleted uranium (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426038)

Also, Uranium is not the densest naturally occuring element. It's not just about the atomic mass, it's also about the crystal structure. Osmium packs the atoms much more tightly, so it is way denser than Uranium.

Re:replacing depleted uranium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34426336)

Atomic mass? Crystal structure? No, price. Uranium: $60/lb Osmium $400/oz

Re:replacing depleted uranium (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426904)

So, the price determines the density? Ha. Kidding.

Dr. Spork was simply refuting the logic that Khopesh used when he assumed that Roentgenium was denser than Uranium simply based on its atomic number. There are many elements with higher atomic number than Osmium but none denser (that we know of).

Re:replacing depleted uranium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34427250)

Yes there are problem with using Uranium in the environment. There's absolutely nothing depleted about it except its use as a fuel. It's depleted of the U-235 isotope, that's all.

It needs to be banned but America, UK, France and Israel keep blocking it at every turn. Only civilised nations like Belgium have managed to net a ban.

IAAP, btw and this article in question is HIGHLY dubious.

For armor, what mostly counts (3, Informative)

ridgecritter (934252) | more than 3 years ago | (#34427730)

is the bond energy and fracture mechanics. For example, ceramic armor breaks into lots of very small particles when hit by a projectile: each fracture surface is created using energy from the incoming projectile, and hence dissipates the projectile's energy. Ceramics aren't very dense compared to tungsten or DU, but their fracture energies are very high. Density counts for projectiles because it's one of the parameters that determines the pressure at the impact point, which in turn is one of the parameters that predicts penetration efficacy. Tungsten is a little more dense than DU, not significantly so for projectile use. A DU projectile will catch fire when it penetrates armor, contributing to its destructive effects. Tungsten doesn't do this. DU is a low-level radiological hazard, tungsten isn't, so for cleaning up after a battle, tungsten is a better choice. DU may have some low-level chemical toxicity, but there's evidence that tungsten (when imbedded as particles under skin) is toxic as well. I speculate the choice of D vs W for projectiles is mainly economic (unless you need to incinerate the occupants of that tank you're killing), as I think DU is cheaper than W.

Re:replacing depleted uranium (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426172)

What would be more politically acceptable about replacing a relatively stable material like depleted uranium by a highly radioactive material like Rt ? Island of stability or not, we are talking about an element that would have a shorter half-life than uranium, especially depleted, and that would emit mainly alpha-ray (the less penetrating but the most deadly).

The claim that it would be cheaper is a bit surprising too : there are mines of uranium...

"the resulting mess" (2)

pcardno (450934) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425362)

Wow. Great scientific summary. Why is it a "mess"? Surely it's the output of one carefully controlled process that led to another carefully controlled process that resulted in a particular outcome. Or isn't it? Surely boiling an element in a vacuum is a pretty clean way of doing things? If it's a "mess", then the whole thing is clearly a load of old nonsense.

Either state the results or make it clear it's an editorial. Don't mix them up. Otherwise it's a mess.

Solomonic gold? (1)

Bilestoad (60385) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425524)

So Stephenson's "solomonic gold" may be based in fact?

Would this gold also be known as Solomonic gold? (1)

arkham6 (24514) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426554)

Appologies to Neil Stephenson :)

Do me a favour. (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426568)

In articles about science always follow at least to the original article or the preprint and state that explicitly. I am sick and tired of "i am only citing the blog where i found it and not bothering to tell (or check?) if its published, preprint, or just buzz".

This one seems to relate to a preprint: http://arxiv.org/abs/1011.6510 [arxiv.org]

I am by no means expert on mass spectrometry by some thing they are doing seem strange. I will look at it when a referee examined it for PRL (to which its obviously submitted)

Re:Do me a favour. (1)

nonguru (1777998) | more than 3 years ago | (#34427144)

Why, are you owed some special favours from Slashdot readers?

Tony Stark was able to build this in a cave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34427392)

Get with the program scientists and go build a prismatic accelerator in your basement, you'll find the island of stability in tactile amounts quick.

Extraordinary claims... (1)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34428322)

Wake me when there is independent confirmation of this claim reported somewhere other than arXiv.

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