2019 is the international year of the periodic table. It is said to be the chemist’s handbook, but despite myself being a physicist, a considerable amount of the attention in my research field is on the periodic table. In fact, since the invention of particle accelerators and the 1970s, physicists have played an important role in the synthesis and discovery of new elements.
By means of an experiment focussed on nuclear spectroscopy on decay chains of element 115 (now named moscovium), the Lund nuclear structure group, which I am now part of, was able to provide first direct measurements on the proton number of superheavy elements (by detection of characteristic x-rays) that otherwise do not connect to the rest of the known elements. The result strengthened the claim of the discovery of element 115. Thus, we are strongly committed and dedicated to the celebrations of the “International Year of the Periodic Table”.
The status of the research at the edge of the periodic table, is very well presented here: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00285-9
Dedicated to the celebrations of the international year of the periodic table, Swedish state radio has made a mini-series on the periodic table. Me and my colleagues were interviewed and as a part of the last episode we explain the research on superheavy elements.
The episode can be found here (in Swedish): https://sverigesradio.se/avsnitt/1242855