Found a new isotope – Mendelevium-244

Lawrence Berkeley’s national laboratory discovered a new isotope, Mendelevium 244. This is the 17th easiest form of Mendelevium. Element is 101 in the periodic table. Information about the new item is published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Mendeleev is an artificial element that was first discovered by the Berkeley laboratory team in 1955. Since then, more than a dozen variations of this element, known as isotopes, have been found.

According to researcher Jennifer Pore, it was difficult to discover a new Mendelevium isotope, because all neighboring isotopes have very similar decay properties. Each isotope is a unique combination of protons and neutrons. When a new isotope is discovered, this particular combination of protons (positively charged particles) and neutrons is not observed, she notes. Research into these combinations is critical to our understanding of all nuclear matter.

For their study, the team, in total, measured the properties of 10 atoms of Mendelevium-244. Researchers found evidence that Mendelevium-244 has two separate decay chains, each of which leads to a half-life of 0.4 seconds and 6 seconds. Half-life is the time it takes for the number of atoms of a radioactive element to halve as their nuclei decay into other, lighter nuclei.

The central place in the discovery of the isotope was occupied by the device on the 88-inch cyclotron called Fiona. The mass number of the new isotope is 244.