What is the Heaviest Element in the Universe? – A

There are two possible ways to define “heavy” substances – based on their mass or atomic weight.

The heaviest substance in terms of density can be defined as weight per unit volume, which is usually measured in grams per cubic centimeter or kilograms per cubic meter.

The hardest naturally occurring element on Earth is Osmium.

Another way to measure weight is in terms of atomic weight, the average number of atoms of an element.

This is an important concept in chemistry because many chemical reactions occur based on numerical relationships between atoms.

Below, we have listed the seven heaviest elements found on Earth according to their atomic weight.

Note: We have not mentioned unknown or unconfirmed elements, such as moscovium, flerovium, nihonium, and meitnerium.

Rutherfordium (Rf) was the first heavy element discovered [in 1964].

It is highly radioactive, and its stable isotope 267Rf has a half-life of approximately 78 minutes.

Rutherfordium is an artificial element created in a laboratory by bombarding Californium-249 with Carbon-12 nuclei.

A total of 16 isotopes have been reported with atomic masses between 253 and 270.

The element is expected to be stable under normal conditions and is thought to have chemical properties similar to hafnium.

Dubnium (Db) is a radioactive element, first produced in 1968 at the Joint Nuclear Research Institute, Russia.

It has seven known isotopes, of which the most stable is 268Db with a half-life of 32 hours.

Dubnium can be produced by bombarding either californium-249 with nitrogen or americium-243 with neon.

A little research on Dubnium’s chemistry confirmed that the substance is more like niobium instead of tantalum, breaking down from time to time.

Since the substance is not found free in nature or produced in large quantities in the laboratory, it has no applications outside of scientific research.

The research team bombarded californium-249 with oxygen-18 nuclei to create aborgium-263.

It is a radioactive substance whose most stable isotope (269Sg) has a half-life of 14 minutes.

Few Seaborgium atoms have ever been produced, and their use is for scientific research only.

A little research done on this chemical element shows that seaborgium is a dense, heavy metal under normal conditions.

In 2014, Japanese researchers created a chemical bond between a carbon atom and seaborgium for the first time, opening new doors to explore the effects of Einstein’s relativity on the structure of the periodic table.

Bohrium (Bh) is a radioactive element named after the famous physicist Niels Bohr.

Since it decays quickly through the emission of alpha-particles (270Bh has a half-life of 61 seconds), it is very difficult to study the substance.

Bohrium is rare in nature, and only a few atoms have been synthesized to date.

Discovered by German physicists in 1984, Hassium (Hs) is one of the heaviest and hardest elements in the periodic table.

All nine isotopes of the element are short-lived: the most stable (270Hs) has a half-life of 10 seconds.

So far, only a few hassium atoms have been created.

Although the exact melting point, boiling point, and density have not been confirmed, the substance is believed to be solid at room temperature.

This radioactive, transition metal can react with other elements [of its group] if produced in large quantities.

Currently, it has no commercial use outside of scientific research.

Tennessine (Ts) is the second-heaviest known object discovered by the Russian-American partnership in 2010.

It is a radioactive, synthetic material.

Tennessine is made by the fusion reaction of calcium-48 with berkelium-249.

The use of tennessine is limited to research purposes due to its limited production.

Its stable isotope (294Ts) has a half-life of about 80 milliseconds, which decays through alpha decay.

Read: 15 Most Dense Objects on Earth | Volumetric Mass Density

First produced in 2002, Oganesson (Og) is the heaviest element on the periodic table.

This highly radioactive element is a member of the noble gas group.

Since Oganesson is very stable (it has a half-life of about 0.89 milliseconds) and does not occur naturally, there is no need to think about its health risks.

The heaviest common element: Uranium

Uranium glass glows under ultraviolet light | Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Atomic weight: 238.0289

Atomic weight: 238.0289

Atomic weight: 238.0289

Atomic weight: 238.0289

Atomic weight: 238.0289

Atomic weight: 238.0289

Atomic weight: 238.0289

Atomic weight: 238.0289

Although uranium is a radioactive element, its rate of decay is slower than other radioactive elements.

Its naturally occurring form (uranium-238) has a half-life of 4.5 billion years.

Read: 15 Interesting Facts About Uranium | A Weak Radioactive Metal

Uranium is mainly used as nuclear fuel to generate electricity in nuclear power stations.

If we confirm what is “heavy” by its density, then Osmium is the most stable one found on Earth at 22.6 g/cm3, and Hassium is the hardest natural substance with a density of 40.7 g/cm3 (but somewhat unstable). However, density is not a quantity – it only defines how well organized the games are.

Then an element with a heavy nucleus should be considered heavy (there are also small differences in the atomic number of different isotopes, so let’s always take the isotope number as a constant).

Uranium(92) will be the heaviest element found on Earth (atomic mass 238), and Ununoctium(118) will be the heaviest element ever recorded (after it was created), with an atomic mass of 294.

Ununoctium is the only heaviest of those things that we have seen directly.

There are other periodic tables that include many other elements, and they look like this:

All current theoretical models show that the stability tends to decrease as the atomic number of the nucleus increases (save a few expectations).

However, Ununoctium’s half-life of 0.001 seconds is not short – it’s trillions longer than the half-lives of many lighter isotopes – you can see how short a life can get here. isotopes decay after 10 -22 seconds, such as Hydrogen 4 (tritium with only one neutron).

Ununoctium 294’s 0.001 second half-life value is 3 magnitudes away from the half-life of hydrogen 4 as it is from the 13.7 billion year age of our universe. Ununoctium 294 is located on the shores of a large area known as the “Sea of ​​Unrest”, where nuclei are expected to decay in the order of microseconds.

However, some scientists think that some of the larger particles may be in the so-called “Island of Stability”, which has an unusually long half-life (perhaps seconds).

Ubinilium-304(element 120) and Unbihexium-310(element 126) are expected to be very stable.

There is no well-defined atomic mass for the nucleus, despite IUPAC, for the nucleus’s estimate of “seconds” (the time it takes for the protons and neutrons in the nucleus to form nuclear bombs). it is limited.

Anything with a half-life lower than 0.7 x 10-14 seconds is also nothing.

This is a very important issue in physics, and if it is solved, it can help us find a way to create objects of incredible weight and use them. Before we start making assumptions about the life span of very heavy nuclei, it would be better to explain what exactly makes heavy nuclei unstable. There are two main types of nuclear decay they can change the size and shape of the nucleus, each caused by completely different forces:a) Beta decay – the most common type of decay in light matter.

It is caused when the nucleus has an unstable neutron-proton ratio (according to the Pauli exclusion principle).

The number of particles in the nucleus remains the same, only the number of protons changes.

It is very similar to the beta decay process of electron capture, it captures one of the atom’s inner electrons and turns one of its protons into a neutron.b) Emission – It is caused by strong forces and electrostatic repulsion in the nucleus, and has several subtypes:

Alpha decay – A common type of decay, caused by the rejection of a proton, releases an alpha particle with two neutrons and two protons from the nucleus, reducing its atomic weight. to emit neutrons).

Caused by proton Neutron and proton decay – Usually occurs in very soft matter, caused by the repulsive nuclear force at short distances (usually, the nuclear force is attractive)

The reason why charged nuclei are so unstable lies in the electrostatic repulsion of protons, which is stronger than the long-range nuclear force.

The nuclear force, which binds protons and neutrons to other protons or neutrons in the nucleus is only significant at very short distances, invisible at ~2.5 fm(femtometers). However, sources of atoms larger than 2.5 fm in diameter; A uranium-238 nucleus is about 15 fm in size, and each proton or neutron only interacts with a few others that are close to it.

When it comes to supermassive elements, the most common type of decay is alpha decay or spontaneous fission.

There are two main forces that control nuclei against this type of decay, namely the strong force and the electromagnetic force, which provides all the energy. it always decays, we just look at those.

By looking at how the half-life decreases as the material increases, we will be able to estimate the size range in which the heaviest possible material should be found.

It’s a simple method, but we can end up with quite a number. The heaviest metal that can still be stable forever is lead 207.

Any heavy objects are in the alpha decay zone. Binding energy per nucleon and half-life of the least stable heavy element:

We can see the behavior of the heavier ones a little less than the lighter ones on average, although there are some irregularities. The most stable elements have half-lives in the following orders of magnitude:

10^10 years – Thorium(90)10^9 years – Uranium(92)10^8 years 10^7 years – Plutonium(94), Curium(96)10^6 years10^5 years10^4 years10^3 years – Berkelium(97)10^2 years – Californium(98)10^1 years -10^0 years – Einsteinium(99)10^-1 years(1.2-12 months) – Fermium(100), Mendelevium(101)10^ -2 years(3.6-36 days) -10^-3 years(8-87 hours) – Dubnium(105)10^-4 years(0.8-8 hours)10^-5 years(5-52 minutes)10^ -6 years(0.5-5 minutes) – Hassium(108)10^-7 years(3-31 seconds) – Copernicium(111), Ununtrium(114) Flerovium (115)10^-8 years(0.3-3 seconds) – Livermorium (116)10^-9 years(0.03-0.3 seconds) – Ununseptium(117)10^-10 years(0.003-0.03 seconds)10^-11 years(x 10^-4 – 0.003 seconds) – Ununoctium( 118)

We can now deduce the location of the officially heavy element (half life is more than 0.7 x 10^-14 seconds).

Beyond a certain mass, however, any material would have a half-life of less than 0.7 x 10^-14 seconds.

The last element is probably in the area of ​​160-400 The most optimistic estimate – the assumed marginal decay rate is very bad and the elements will never have a half-life of less than 0.7 x 10^-14 seconds, in theory, the upper limit. of objects that would only exist when the influence of gravity would overcome the strong force, the object would then be called a neutron star.

However, I certainly hope that in the future we will finally find that the periodic table goes longer.

Scroll to Top