Ununbium: the essentials

 Brief description: element 112 was discovered on 9th February 1996 at 22:37 at the GSI in Darmstadt, Germany. Further information on element 112 is here (outside WebElements) and here in a press release (outside WebElements). 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 ununbium.

Isolation

Isolation: as only a few atoms of element 112 have ever been made (through a nuclear reaction involving fusing a zinc atom with a lead atom) isolation of an observable quantity has never been achieved, and may well never be.

208Pb + 70Zn → 277Uub + 1n

This is because atoms of the element decompose through the emission of α-particles with a half life of only about 240 microseconds. Abstract (http://www.gsi.de/forschung/kp/kp2/ship/public/sn112-abstract.html ): The new element 112 was produced and identified unambiguously in an experiment at SHIP, GSI Darmstadt. Two decay chains of the isotope 277-112 were observed in irradiations of 208-Pb targets with 70-Zn projectiles of 343.8 MeV kinetic energy. The isotope decays by emission of alpha particles with a half-life of (240 +430 -90) micro seconds. Two different alpha-energies of (11,649+-20)keV and (11,454+-20) keV) were measured for the decaying nuclei. The cross section measured in three weeks of irradiation is (1.0 +1.3 -0.6) pb.

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ununbium atomic number