An international collaboration of nuclear chemistry and physicists have succeeded in the first synthesis and detection at GSI of the superheavy element 114. The two observed isotopes with the masses 288 and 289 were produced in the bombardment of targets consisting of the very rare isotope plutonium-244 with calcium-48 ions from the UNILAC. The experiment was performed with the new, recently commissioned gas-filled separator TASCA (TransActinde Separator and Chemistry Apparatus) installed at X8. TASCA is currently the world-wide most efficient facility for nuclear fusion products from such reactions. The experiment was spearheaded by scientists from GSI, TU Munich, and Mainz University and carried out with participating scientists from Berkeley (USA), Jyväskylä (Finland), Liverpool (UK), Lund (Sweden), Oslo (Norway), and Kolkata (India). This first observation of element 114 at GSI confirmed with high statistical significance results previously obtained in the same nuclear reaction in Dubna (Russia). This successful experiment paves the way for many exciting follow-up studies of chemical and physical properties of superheavy elements.
A small subgroup of the excited collaboration members of the element 114 experiment in front of the gas-filled recoil separator TASCA (UNILAC Cave X8) after the most successful beam time was finished.
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