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Nihonium: Unveiling the Newest Transuranium Element in the Periodic Table

Nihonium: Understanding the Synthetic, Transuranium Element

What is Nihonium? Nihonium is a synthetic, transuranium radioactive element thats considered one of the newest members of the periodic table.

Its abbreviated as Nh and its atomic number is 113. Its named after Japan, which is “nichi” in Japanese, and also refers to its discovery and synthesized birthplace.

Nihonium is known to be highly unstable and short-lived, meaning it decays quickly to other elements.

Discovery and Naming

The discovery of Nihonium was made in Japan on July 23, 2004, by the RIKEN Institute. Scientists used a particle accelerator to smash together Zinc-70 atoms with Bismuth-209 atoms.

This resulted in a short-lived nucleus that underwent alpha decay and produced four alpha particles, creating a new element. The team spent years conducting further experiments to confirm the discovery before submitting for official recognition by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in 2016.

Location and History

Nihonium does not occur naturally on Earth, and its synthesis requires the tools and technology of a laboratory. Its considered to be part of a group of elements called the transuranium series, which are all synthetic and exist above uranium in the periodic table.

Its discovery is a testament to the remarkable achievements of modern science and technology. Its name is fitting as Japan is home to the RIKEN Institute and played a significant role in its discovery.

Identification

Physical Properties

Nihonium has an atomic mass of approximately 284 amu (atomic mass units). Its boiling point and melting point are unknown due to its short-lived existence.

As a synthetic element, it is produced artificially in a laboratory and only observed in tiny amounts. Its density is estimated to be similar to lead, which has a density of 11.34 g/cm.

At room temperature, Nihonium is predicted to be a solid metal.

Chemical Properties

Nihonium is part of the p-block in the periodic table, meaning it has five valence electrons that should allow it to form chemical bonds. However, due to its short lifespan, there is little data available regarding its reactivity.

Its likely that it has a similar reactivity trend with other elements in its group like Thallium, which is highly toxic and has shown to be highly reactive.

Atomic Data

Like all elements, Nihonium is defined by its electron configuration. Its electron configuration is 5f14 6d10 7s2 7p1, which indicates that it has one unpaired valence electron on the last p-orbital.

Its ionization energy (IE) is estimated to be approximately 0.18Mj/mol, which is significantly lower than that of the group 14 elements. The radius of the atom of Nihonium is also predicted to be larger than the elements in its group but smaller than lead.

Interesting Facts

– The existence of Nihonium is so rare that youd have to produce an estimated gram of it to actually see it. – It is the first element discovered in Asia and the first by the RIKEN Institute.

– Its part of the “superheavy” atoms that have atomic numbers greater than 103.

– Its most closely related to thallium, lead, and other heavy metals, known for being toxic to the environment and health.

Conclusion

In summary, Nihonium is a synthetic, transuranium radioactive element discovered in 2004 in the RIKEN Institute in Japan. Its named after Japan and is considered one of the newest members of the periodic table.

Its physical, chemical, and atomic characteristics are distinguished by its short-lived existence and the instability caused by their unbalanced nuclei. The discovery of Nihonium is significant in modern science and serves as an example of the incredible technological progress of laboratory experimentation.

As a society, we must continue to use our knowledge to conduct experiments that could lead to further scientific discoveries and create new elements. Nihonium: Understanding the Synthetic, Transuranium Element Part 2

Uses

The primary use of Nihonium is for research purposes. Since it’s a synthetic element, it’s only produced in laboratories, and thus, the amount available is minuscule compared to that of naturally occurring elements.

This characteristic makes it a valuable resource for scientists to study the properties of synthetic elements, particularly in understanding nuclear structure and the properties of heavy elements.

Danger and Safety

Nihonium is highly radioactive, and as a result, it can be extremely dangerous if not handled correctly. It’s considered to be a potential health hazard due to its ability to emit alpha particles, which can damage the cells of living organisms.

For instance, if ingested or inhaled, Nihonium can cause severe damage to the lungs and other organs.

Due to the dangers associated with handling Nihonium, it’s imperative that experts handle this element in dedicated laboratories.

These facilities are equipped with specialized tools, state-of-the-art equipment, and highly trained personnel capable of working with radioactive materials. Scientists who work in this area are also required to wear specialized protective gear and hold high-security clearance to prevent any unauthorized handling of Nihonium.

Interesting Facts

Temporary Name – Ununtrium

After its discovery in 2004, Nihonium was initially known as ununtrium (Uut), which was a temporary name assigned to the element according to IUPAC guidelines. This name was made from the Latin terms ‘unum,’ ‘unus,’ and ‘tri,’ which meant ‘one,’ ‘one,’ and ‘three,’ respectively, referring to Nihonium’s position as the 113th element on the periodic table.

Proposed Names – Japonium

As Japan played a pivotal role in the discovery of Nihonium, the Japanese government proposed that the element be named after the nation, resulting in the name Japonium. The name Japonium was submitted to IUPAC in 2017, but it was not taken up for consideration as the guidelines for naming elements require that elements must be named after a mythological concept, scientist, mineral, place, or country.

Since then, other proposed names have emerged, including Rikenium, Ununtrium (Uut), and Koposovium. However, to date, Nihonium remains its official name.

Cost

Nihonium is not available commercially due to its short-lived existence and high radioactive nature. Therefore, it has no practical applications, nor is it marketed for profit.

The production of Nihonium is expensive and can only be produced under specialized conditions, making its cost high.

It is essential to note that the cost of producing Nihonium is not a significant concern for scientists, as the element’s discovery and study contribute significantly to the advancement of the field of nuclear physics and research.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Nihonium is a synthetic, highly radioactive, transuranium element that was discovered in 2004 by the RIKEN Institute in Japan. The element is primarily used for research purposes and has no practical application.

Scientists handle Nihonium with care in dedicated laboratories due to its health and environmental hazards. Although it has no applications, it serves as an essential element in the study of nuclear physics and research, leading to further advanced discoveries.

The element has undergone different naming proposals, with the current official one being Nihonium, and it is a testament to Japan’s significant role in its discovery. Nihonium is a synthetic, radioactive element discovered in 2004, primarily used for research purposes and has no practical application.

It has unique physical, chemical, and atomic characteristics, making it extremely fascinating to scientists and contributing significantly to the advancement of nuclear physics and research. Handling Nihonium requires special care due to its health and environmental hazards, but its discovery and study are a testament to the capabilities of modern technology.

Nihonium is not available commercially, but its significance in science and technology will continue to make it a topic of interest and further research. FAQs:

1.

What is Nihonium, and why is it significant? – Nihonium is a synthetic, transuranium radioactive element discovered in 2004 and is significant in studying nuclear physics and research.

2. What are the primary uses of Nihonium?

– Nihonium is used primarily for research purposes and has no practical application. 3.

Why is Nihonium highly radioactive, and why is it dangerous? – Nihonium emits alpha particles, which can severely damage living organisms’ cells, making it highly dangerous and a potential health hazard to handle.

4. Can Nihonium be purchased commercially?

– No, Nihonium is not available commercially due to its short-lived existence and high radioactive nature. 5.

What are some interesting facts about Nihonium? – Nihonium was initially known as ununtrium before being officially named, and it has undergone different naming proposals, with Japan’ s proposed name being Japonium.

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