« on: 20/10/2016 02:40:02 »
Do these new "elements" which last only for seconds or microseconds, exist anywhere else in the Universe, except in laboratories on Earth?
If not, I agree with Luke, they're not real "elements" at all. Just something we've fiddled about with, and cooked up locally. Surely the fact that they disappear so quickly, rules them out as real elements. How can something that vanishes in a split-second, be regarded as anything more than a terrestrial artefact.
Shouldn't a real element stay around for the duration of the Universe, so that it could always be found in the Universe, without relying on a terrestrial source?
Many "Natural" elements do not have infinite lifetimes. Carbon 14 is constantly forming being formed in our atmosphere and decaying, Uranium is also a "naturally" occurring element which decays, and in doing so creates other short-lived elements. I don't think it makes much sense to say that naturally occurring Radium is not a "real element" just because its most stable isotope has a half-life of just 1600 years.
As far as these other element existing elsewhere in the universe, If we can make them here on the Earth, then surely they are formed in the supernovae that forged all the other elements including the Uranium we still find in our own crust.
That's one reason for trying to make these elements on Earth; to learn the rules that determine just what is possible in terms of element formation and to verify whether or not our understanding of what these rules are stand up to experiment.
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