Meitnerium: the essentials

Element 109, meitnerium, is a synthetic element that is not present in the environment at all. There is no dispute concerning the name meitnerium for element 109.

The interested reader should consult the on-line version of The Wonderful World of Atoms and Nuclei for a fascinating insight into research on "super-heavy" atoms.

Table: basic information about and classifications of meitnerium.

Meitnerium: historical information

Meitnerium was discovered by Peter Armbruster, Gottfried Münzenber and their co-workers. at 1982 in Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI) in Darmstadt, Germany.. Origin of name: named after Lise "Meitner", the Austrian physicist.

In August 1982 the first atom of the element meitnerium with atomic number 109 was detected at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI) in Darmstadt, Germany. The isotope of element 109 which was discovered has an atomic mass number of 266 (that is, 266 times heavier than hydrogen). The new element was produced by fusing an iron (58Fe) and a bismuth atom (209Bi) together in a reaction that produces a neutron. This was achieved by accelerating the iron atoms to a high energy in the heavy ion accelerator UNILAC at GSI.

Meitnerium: physical properties

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Meitnerium: orbital properties

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Isolation

Isolation: only a few atoms of element 109, meitnerium, have ever been made. The first atoms were made through a nuclear reaction involving fusion of an isotope of bismuth, 209Bi, with one of iron, 58Fe.

209Bi + 58Fe → 266Mt + 1n

Isolation of an observable quantity of meitnerium has never been achieved, and may well never be. This is because meitnerium decays very rapidly through the emission of α-particles.

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meitnerium atomic number