Public Lecture

Nuclear Physics and the Making of the Modern Periodic Table

by Jim Al-Khalili

Nothing epitomises the field of chemistry more than the periodic table of elements, a classification and ordering of all the different types of atoms in existence on a grid that can be found on the walls of every school chemistry laboratory in the world. And yet, for more than half of the 150 years since the periodic table was first proposed by the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869, it has been nuclear physicists, not chemists, who have been adding elements to it. To date, in nuclear accelerator labs around the world, 26 transuranic elements have been discovered, the heaviest of which being element 118, named Oganesson. This lecture recounts the story of how these very unstable and short-lived elements were synthesised, and the ingenuity of the nuclear physicists who succeeded where nature has failed. And the quest is not over yet, for a race is now on to create element 120. And there is speculation that even heavier and, crucially, longer-lived elements might exist in a region of the nuclear chart known as the ‘island of stability’. We may even be able to do interesting chemistry with these so-called 'superheavies'.

 

Tuesday 30th July, 2019

Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow, UK

 

Registration for this lecture is free of charge. Further information will be released shortly but please contact claire.garland@iop.org if you have any urgent questions. 


Key dates

Abstract submission deadline:

25 January 2019

Early registration deadline:

1 June 2019

Registration deadline:

19 July 2019