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30 years of the element Meitnerium

 

29.08.2012

The element Meitnerium was created on earth for the first time today 30 years ago. At GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH physicists produced the new element with the particle accelerator UNILAC.

It is noted in the handwritten log book: „16.10 fission with chain“. On 29th August 1982, the physicist Gottfried Münzenberg had registered an decay which indicated a new element. At that time, the scientists had shot iron ions with the UNILAC on bismuth. The UNLAC is still used at GSI today. With the measuring apparatus SHIP (Separator for Heavy Ion reaction Products) the physicists had analyzed the decomposition products and found out that the element 109 had existed for a short moment. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) afterwards confirmed this date as the first discovery, too.

Meinterium, named after the Austrian Swedish physicist and mathematician Lise Meitner, is a radioactive metal. Until now not much more is known about the properties of this element.


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In this list from 1982 the first note of element 109 is registered.
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Foto: Fritz-Peter Hessberger /GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung