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Yuri Oganessian, after whom a chemical element is named, visits FAIR and GSI


Professor Yuri Tsolakovich Oganessian, Russian researcher of Armenian descend and currently scientific leader of the Flerov Laboratory for Nuclear Reactions of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, visited FAIR and GSI. The 86-year-old Oganessian has led many experiments on the synthesis of artificially produced chemical elements, including the heaviest currently existing element of the periodic table, element 118, which was named Oganesson in his honor. He is thus the only living human being after whom a chemical element is named.

In addition to talks with the scientists from FAIR and GSI, Oganessian also held the traditional Tuesday Colloquium. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Periodic Table of the Elements, he spoke in front of a full auditorium about its development and in particular about the efforts to expand it by producing superheavy elements. Numerous questions showed the great interest of the audience in the topic. Oganessian has been in friendly scientific contact with FAIR and GSI since the establishment of GSI in the 1970s. Especially in the efforts to generate new chemical elements, there has been and still is a lively exchange between the researchers at FAIR/GSI and at JINR.

In addition to the synthesis and description of the heavy elements, Oganessian's work focuses on the development of ion accelerators and methods for investigating nuclear reactions. He developed new ideas for the production of the elements 102 to 118 and successfully implemented them in the discovery of many new elements. The element with the atomic number 118 was last detected by his research group in October 2006. Ten years later, in 2016 the name Oganesson (chemical symbol Og) was proposed by the participating research groups for this element and, subsequently, officially awarded. Following Glenn T. Seaborg, Oganessian is thus only the second human after whom an element was named during his lifetime. (CP)

More information

Production and detection of new elements

Original publication on the discovery of element 118

Prof. Yuri Oganessian
Photo: G. Otto, GSI