VDA: The elements are once born and once earth

Chemical elements are more stable, not Mendlejev’s table, but they are not.

In those links, I mentioned the history of the periodic table of chemical elements, including the personal histories of their discoverers and the origin of their names; I focused on the creation of elements and also the fact that elements today make up only 5% of our world (95% of which is dark matter and dark energy). In today’s text, we have an element of stability. On the way to the stability of the 150-year-old Mendleev table, its shape in the past years depended not only on the latest discoveries but also on the country in which it was made. I rely on several representations of the periodic table from my collections. For example, a wall table about 30 years old is a symbol of transience. Jet contains the elements curatium (104) and hahnium (105), which eventually disappeared from the table according to the decision of the International Union of Chemists, just as Pluto disappeared from the list of planets according to the decision of the International Union of Astronomers. Elements 106 and 118 are not in this table, but on the other side, after years, the symbols of the noble gases disappeared, which is not a consequence of the gaseous nature of these elements, but the fact that the gases are on the right side of the table, which was close to the window and the sun was shining outside symbols faded out.

Another table of mine, about ten years old, shows a state when the elements 113 and 118 jet were named only by the symbols signifying their order in the table; for example, dnen nihonium (113) was designated as ununtrium (abbreviated Uut, meaning unus unus tres) and dnen oganesson (118) was designated as ununoctium (Uuo). The youngest element is tennessine (117), prepared in 2010. The names of several of the newest elements were only approved five or six years ago. The daily state of the table with the closed seventh period and up to element 118 is shown in the first picture as a reminder.

In the second picture from my collection, I show the periodic table in quite a few forms, it is a confirmation of my paid Polish postcards of the American Chemical Company, which sent me coffee mugs instead of stamps.

In this picture is my collection of 32 cubes from the company Luciteria Science, which supplies the elements in the form of exact cubes with an edge of 1 cm with a certainty of 99.9% and with the properties of carving elements on walls. You can also buy gases enclosed in a plastic cube, but not plutonium (Irn could order 10,000 of them).


The material representation of the table, both made of paper and porcelain, has a maximum of thousands or millions of years ahead of it. My bones, when no one steals them and destroys them, will probably oxidize and crumble to dust, except for a few resistant gold inclusions, which will fall out in five billion years, and the Sun will turn into a red giant and swallow the Earth. But how is the stability of individual atoms? After the discovery of polonium (84) and radium (88) by Marie and Pierre Curie in 1898, it became clear that these elements spontaneously decay. Ernest Rutherford showed that half of any large sample of a certain radioactive material always decays in the same amount of time, called the half-life, which characterizes that material.

Rutherford’s experiments from 1909 made it possible to create the first model of the atom, according to which the nucleus of matter is concentrated in a small, positively charged nucleus, around which lightly charged electrons circle like planets around the sun. The discovery of the neutron in 1932 completely clarified the relationship between the structure of an element and its position in the periodic table: under an element in the table is equal to its proton (and also its electron), in addition to protons there are also neutrons that neutralize the repulsion of positive protons; elements exist in many forms, isotopes, such as neutrons (for example, light vodka, tk vodka). Although the number of neutrons increases with the number of protons, it is not quite regular, so in some cases the element with two atomic masses is lighter than Mendleev’s broom (for example, iodine (53) has fewer neutrons and a lower atomic weight than tellurium (52)).

With the development of nuclear physics, attention was paid to the fact that the binding energy of a proton and a neutron (determining the stability of the nucleus) increases from hydrogen (1) to iron (26) and then gradually decreases, so polonium (84) undergoes spontaneous decay, the same as all elements in the table after polonium. It was widely believed that certain strengths in proton and neutron sweat increase the stability of the nucleus, for example strengths 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82 and 126, called magic strengths. If both a proton and a neutron are magick slem, it is a double magic isotope of an element. The most common type of atomic nucleus in the universe (after light hydrogen) is helium-4 with two protons and two neutrons, and the most common is oxygen-16 with eight protons and eight neutrons, both isotopes are doubly magical. Vpnk-48 ms 20 protons and 28 neutrons is a huge amount of neutrons, but it is surprisingly stable, because the particles are magical (its half-life is ten to twenty years). I was more surprised by nickel-48, which has 28 protons and only 20 neutrons, such a neutron deficit that it shouldn’t exist at all, but it was still observed in the laboratory. A few protons provide less stability, and the elements 43 and 61 even rule out the existence of a stable element, so technetium (43) and promethium (61), as the only elements lighter than polonium (84), do not occur in nature at all and were only created in the laboratory.

The most stable isotope technetium (43) has a half-life of about 4 million years, promethium (61) 18 years, polonium (84) 125 years, astatine (85) 8 hours, radon (86) 4 days, francium (87) 22 minutes, radium ( 88) 1600 years, actinium (89) 22 years, thorium (90) 14 billion years, protactinium (91) 30 thousand years, uranium (92) 4.5 billion years, neptunia (93) 2 million years, plutonium (94) 400 thousand years, america (95) 7 thousand years, curia (96) 15 million years, berkelia (97) 1400 years, california (98) 900 years, einsteinia (99) 470 days, fermia (100) 101 days, mendlejevia ( 101) 52 days and nobelia (102) 58 minutes. Elements from lawrence (103) to oganesson (118) have half-lives between 28 hours and 0.7 milliseconds.

Unstable elements were often marked with an asterisk in the table, which was technetium (43), promethium (61) and elements from polonium (84) according to, so bismuth (83), also called bismuth, was the last element without an asterisk. But that changed in 2003, as it was discovered that bismuth decays spontaneously, with a half-life of not 10 to 19 years. It is true for practical purposes that it is as if it were stable, given that the universe exists a billion times as long, it is not half the time of bismuth, but it is a little bit against infinity. Against infinity, there is no difference between a millisecond and a billion years. Simply bismuth has surprising radioactivity (for example, if you buy bismuth subsalicylate, which is an antidote, it will not be usable in 10 to twenty years).

This raises the question of the stability of other light elements other than bismuth. It turned out that two-thirds of tellurium (52) and one-tenth of xenon (54) are made up of radioactive isotopes, their half-lives are less than 10 per twenty-first year. that the free neutron decays with a half-time of less than 15 minutes, but soon the stability of the proton also began to be investigated; men showed that its half-life is not 10 to the tenth of a year. Its disintegration in the short term is unlikely. But classical physics from the end of the 19th century placed it among improbable phenomena, and after it combined with quantum mechanics, it gave fantastic phenomena. For example, my body briefly violates the law of conservation of energy in such a way that it takes energy from a vacuum as if from a bank, and after a while, when I drill it, I use this energy in the meantime to break through the holes and escape from the trap (tunnel effect). m vt is that vr, that ni is the probability of such an event, and that is what happens to me often, but every event can happen sometimes. Protons and neutrons are trapped in the nuclei of atoms, but the laws of quantum mechanics allow them to escape from the trap, which leads to cold transmutation of elements.

From the observed evolution of stars and the universe, it is estimated that in 10 to 20 years half of the mass (not dark matter and dark energy) will be concentrated in neutron stars and black holes traveling alone in the rapidly expanding universe, so our chemical elements will remain only in tiny amounts in fading stars called black dwarfs, and also in lonely planets like our Earth, which have escaped many cataclysms and could theoretically still be our descendants. If protons are unstable, black dwarfs and planets will disintegrate in 10 to 1,000 years; neutron stars and black holes then die out in 10 to a hundred years; in the end there will be nothing but photons and neutrinos. If the protons are stable, all the remaining elements are transmuted (by those very improbable processes that sometimes occur) into the most stable iron in 10 to 10,000 years (one with 10,000 zeros), and the iron then turns into iron by those very improbable processes dry for 10 to 10 to 100 years (one with 10 to one hundred zeros); all black drys die in a measly 10 per hundred years (one with only a hundred zeros). In addition to photons, protons and electrons will also be the product of decay, so in this scenario at least one n element from Mendleev’s water table will remain in small quantities.

As it was said: unlikely means mon and mon means sure for a long enough time. In this way, even such an improbable phenomenon as the appearance of an intelligent hunter in the universe can be explained (an unintelligent hunter is much more likely). It was well described by Paul Davies in the book The Last Minutes (complementary to the book The First Minutes, published by Steven Weinberg and the creation of elements after the Great Depression). Davies explains the difference between long time and time in this way: if we let a monkey pound on the keyboard of a typewriter, even for a long time, Shakespeare’s writings will not be produced by chance, but if we leave the monkey at the keyboard for an indefinite period of time, these writings will be produced. In short, if the hitherto unknown salt does not appear, the atoms of our elements are doomed to disintegration, and in the rapidly expanding universe there is nothing to hold it together. It dissolves into a mass of icy photons and elementary particles (most likely neutrinos).

et atomist admirably predicted that the properties of objects are the manifestation of many kinds of moving atoms. Their follower, the poet Lucretius, described their ideas in detail in the poem On the Essence of the World, where he also predicted the regular disintegration of the world and its renewal; however, atomists did not believe in the assumption that atoms are outside and the universe is full, because atoms are transient, and moreover, they make up less than 5% of our universe (95% is dark energy and dark matter). Statistical mechanics and thermodynamics, describing sets of atoms and molecules, at the end of the 19th century came to the conclusion that, after the equalization of temperatures between hot and cold objects, the universe would end in heat death (but the elements would burn). The cosmology of the 20th century descended to the beast, as Paul Davies described it, ending in an icy death of the universe, which not even the elements could save.

In your world of death, Davies tries to find breath for the hunter as follows: Does existence have a meaning if it is outside, and here it represents a never-ending journey and a never-reached goal? If the universe has meaning and achieves its goal, then it must end; on the contrary, if the universe lasts outside, then it is hardly possible to imagine what kind of duty it is. So cosmic death may be the price you have to pay for the dream of achieving your goal. We must hope that our descendants will know what the goal is before those last three minutes are filled.

The question is how likely it is that a hunter, however intelligent, will appear between that great sorrow and that eternal death. According to Paul Davies, it is either a coincidence or some unknown project. The physics of the 21st century offered an alternative: an infinite continuous cycle of birth of new universes, where even completely different elements than those on the table can be found, and thus repeat our lives in various variations in infinite parallel universes, as described by Max Tegmark in the book Matematick vesmr. This infinity would solve the problem of the appearance of a hunter, because even a completely improbable phenomenon on the border of impossibility must happen after an infinite number of attempts.

When he can calmly think about what type of universal death or futility best suits his personal fulfillment, or there is enough time to be confused.


The article is in Czech

Tags: VDA elements born earth

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