Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Scientist: Californium-ication!

Mary
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A team of Russian and American physicists has taken a mommy element (calcium) and a daddy element (Californium) and made a brand-new baby element -- as in, so brand-new that it's never existed before.

Scientists said they smashed together calcium with the manmade element Californium to make an atom with 118 protons in its nucleus. The new element lasted for just one millisecond, but it was the heaviest element ever made and the first manmade inert gas -- the atomic family that includes helium, neon and radon. ...

Moody said the new element will not be named until it is approved by an international association of chemists. Elements 113, 114, 115, and 116 are still unnamed.

Our mission is clear -- let's name element 118! I'll start it off; I'm lobbying for the obvious mashup of "calcifornium." Leave your own suggestions in the comments (and feel free to take a crack at elements 113-116 too, if you're feeling extra-creative) and we'll send the best candidate off to Lawrence Livermore.

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October 18, 2006 - 10:18am
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