Brainy Quote of the Day

Friday, August 30, 2013

Zombie Uppers...

Lurking at the fringes of the periodic table, superheavy element 115 has been a favoured material in UFO conspiracy theories and video games. Now we may have evidence that it actually exists.

A group led by Dirk Rudolph of Lund University in Sweden reports the creation of 30 atoms of element 115, informally called ununpentium. Their sightings back up previous reports from a group in Russia, although the results must be reviewed by an international chemistry committee before they are deemed official.

Superheavy elements are more than scientific curiosities. Seeking them allows us to probe the boundaries of matter and possibly find the "island of stability", a group of heavy elements that scientists predict will be stable for decades – if they could only be produced. If confirmed, the recent sighting would include the first observations of X-ray and gamma ray emissions from the decay of element 115, which could illuminate theories about the structure of superheavy nuclei in general.

I know a poet in Austin that uses the stage name: "Element 615," which would make for a HUGE Periodic Table, let alone you'd be doing the electron configuration for a bunch of Sundays! But my friend is deep/heavy, thus STEM has impacted the arts.

BTW: ununpentium's configuration is:  [Rn] 5f14 6d10 7s2 7p3, and that's shorthand of a substantial nightmare if you had to memorize it for an exam, and scarier than any flesh eating, limping zombie.

There will be a naming contest, and conspiracy theorists that will assign this to the coming apocalypse of the undead (which is funny, because apocalypse from Greek means "reveal," not disaster).

Anyway, TRMS had to me, the funniest presentation in its "Moment of Geek" that in a break from Solid State Device homework made me laugh out loud!

Happy Friday!

New Scientist: Fresh evidence emerges for superheavy element 115

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