HONOURABLE MENTION

How Are Artifical Elements Made?

There are tons of elements but recently, humanity has pushed through our limits and made new elemnts. In this project we will explain how and why artifical elements are made.
Kyle Lui Terngu Upaa
Grade 7

Problem

Hypothesis/thesis: 

 How are artifical elements made? We had heard that artificial elements could be made with particle accelerators and nuclear explosions. Based on our current knowledge we believe that atoms are crashing together within the particle accelerator. During a nuclear explosion we believe that the atoms bond together to form new atoms. 

 

Background Research: 

   I’m sure most people have heard about the periodic table and the elements. For a long time now science news has become widespread to the public. Through various sources we have learned about what the elements are, the periodic table, atoms and so much more.      

Method

Through many sources we have complied a mass of research for our project. We obtained all our information from reliable sources on the internet. We made sure all our information is reliable and useful. All of our reasearch is inside the research part of our project. Alot of our information is obtained from bitannica and other sources.

Research

What are Atoms?  

 

Atoms are the basic building block of chemistry. It is the smallest unit of matter which can be divided without the release of electrical charged atoms. It is also the smallest unit of matter that has certain characteristics that build up the characteristic properties of a chemical element. 

 

Most of an atom is empty space, the rest consists of a charged nucleus of protons and neutrons surrounded by negatively charged electrons. A proton atom is a subatomic particle (AKA Elementary particles, are self-controlled units of matter or energy that are fundamental constituents of all matter) that has a positive charge. A Neutron atom is a neutral subatomic particle that has no electrical charge that is also a constituent of every atomic nucleus except hydrogen. An electron is the lightest subatomic particle we know, it also has a negative charge. 


 

What are elements? 

Elements are unique atoms. Each element has different numbers of subatomic particles, which gives them unique properties. 

 

Elements are substances that cannot be broken down any further. They are made strictly of atoms and can’t be separated in any way. Elements are in everything with all matter containing one or more elements. Things like water are made out of elements with water being made of hydrogen and oxygen which can also be known as a chemical compound. All elements in the universe contain one or more atoms of at least one or more elements.

 

A periodic table of elements is a table diagram of all the known elements that are specifically grouped into their similar properties. Most elements are metals that can conduct electricity well and are also shiny. Metals can include Lead, Aluminium, Cesium, etc which are all solid at room temperature, except mercury which is a liquid state at room temperature. 

Aluminium - WikipediaLead - WikipediaMeet Cesium, the Alkali Metal That Defines the Second and Has a Tendency to  Burst Into Flames

Aluminum Lead                     Cesium       

 

Some elements however are non-metals, they cannot conduct electricity and are mostly gas states at room temperature. Non-metals of the periodic table with this state would be hydrogen, arsenic, chlorine, etc. The non-metals that are liquid at room temperature however are sulphur, carbon and others.
Sulfur - Wikipedia

     Sulphur
 

 

What are the essential elements of life and why do we need them? 

 

An essential element is one that is required for life to happen on this earth and with its absence results in death. For an element to be considered “essential” if a deficiency in that element causes a major or abnormal development or function and only if that single element causes the change. 







 

Synthetic elements (man-made) vs Natural elements

Synthetic element: Chemical element that does not occur naturally and can only be accessed by being made artificially

Natural element: Existing by nature and without artificial aid to be made

 

The difference between a synthetic element and a natural element is that natural elements can be found occurring naturally in the universe, whereas synthetic elements have to be synthesized/manufactured by humans to be able to gain access to that element. 


Synthetic element example: Einsteinium is a synthetic element that was made in 1952 by a group of scientists led by Albert Ghiorso. It was discovered by the research of the radioactive debris created by the first hydrogen bomb. Einsteinium was created by adding 15 neutrons to uranium. Einsteinium is highly dangerous because of its radioactivity which makes it used for experimental purposes, research purposes and element studies.
Einsteinium - Wikipedia

Natural element example: Zirconium, this element has been found in stars and was also identified to be in the sun and meteorites. Lunar rock samples surprisingly show a high number of zirconium oxide in them. Zirconium is extensively used for surgical applications as a metal for an alloying agent in steel. 

 

Zirconium - Wikipedia

 

 

Radioactive elements

 

All through all elements are technically radioactive not all elements are created equal. There are some elements with more radioactive aspects than others.   There are 38 radioactive elements.  14 radioactive elements are found in nature. 

 

Radioactive elements are made up of atoms whose nuclei are unstable and give off atomic radiation. Emission of a radioactive element can transform radioactive atoms into another chemical element, which can be stable or radioactive such that it undergoes decay. 

 

Fun fact: Bananas are the most radioactive fruit, emitting a small, harmless amount of radiation.

 

The first synthetic radioactive element is called Mendelevium. It is named after the creator of the periodic table of elements.

 

Image result for mendelevium

Mendelevium


 

What are some elements made by a particle accelerator?

 

Currently, there are 24 of these man-made elements. Artificial elements are made to make advancements in technology or just a new discovery of a new element.
 

Particle Accelerator: A machine that propels charged particles, such as electrons and protons at high speeds, near the speed of light. It then smashes those particles on a target or onto another causing it in the opposite direction with the help of electromagnetic fields.

 

The point of a particle accelerator is to assist scientists to help them explore the creation of a theory of everything that can explain the physical attributes of the universe/reality. It also helps scientists understand quantum mechanics and how it works. Therefore they can answer questions related to the Standard Model of Particle Physics which thus leads to letting them understand how the universe came to be and also thus leads to explaining the building blocks of the universe (e.g. quarks, electrons, bosons, etc) The development of particle accelerators aren't just a waste of money and tax as it has helped us to understand the properties of superconductivity which also leads to other techniques and advancements to learn about.

Flerovium was one of the elements that were created by a particle accelerator. Scientists fire charged calcium atoms (calcium ions) onto a plutonium-coated foil. In the course of those experiments, a calcium nucleus and a plutonium nucleus undergo a fusion to form the new nucleus of the new element, flerovium. Its atomic number (element 114) corresponds to the responding elements, calcium with 20 and plutonium with 94 protons

Flerovium - Element information, properties and uses | Periodic Table

 

What is an Isotope and half life? 

 

An isotope has two different variants with stable isotopes and unstable (radioactive) isotopes. All chemical elements have at least one isotope. Isotopes for every element have the same atomic number for their element. 

 

Half life is how long it takes for one half of a radioactive isotope to decay. It is unaffected by the environment of the isotope and it stays truly consistent regardless of the circumstances. The half life differs between radioactive isotopes. 



 

Why do we make new elements?

 

Adding new elements can increase our understanding of the periodic table and its elements. New elements may be created to have a practical function such as technology like bombs. So far we have pushed the periodic table very far and making new elements is becoming increasingly tricky. We are developing new technology to help create new elements. Russia has started developing new particle accelerators in the hope of expanding the periodic table of elements.

 

Image result for particle accelarator

Particle accelerator

 

What are some uses of the new elements? 

 

A lot of the new elements are radioactive so it isn’t that far fetched that plutonium for example is used for nuclear fuel and nuclear weapons. 

 

Data


 

Element Name

Atomic Number

Half-Life

Americium

95

7370 years

Curium

96

1.56x107 years

Berkelium

97

1380 years

Californium

98

898 years

Einsteinium

99

471.7 days

Fermium

100

100.5 days

Mendelevium

101

51.5 days

Nobelium

102

58 minutes

Lawrencium

103

4 hours

Rutherfordium

104

13 hours

Dubnium

105

32 hours

Seaborgium

106

2.4 minutes

Bohrium

107

17 seconds

Hassium

108

9.7seconds

Meitnerium

109

0.72 seconds

Darmstadtium

110

11.1 seconds

Roentgenium

111

26 seconds

Copernicium

112

29 seconds

Nihonium

113

0.48 seconds

Flerovium

114

2.65 seconds

Moscovium

115

87 milliseconds

Livermorium

116

61 milliseconds

Tennessine

117

unknown

Oganesson

118

1.8 milliseconds

Conclusion

Conclusion

 

Artificial elements can be made using various methods that researchers have discovered over the years, they could be from a particle accelerator to a nuclear explosion. Elements can be used to increase our understanding of the vast universe and even benefit our daily lives. However artificial elements can be highly radioactive or their nucleus is not stable enough to sustain its life, which can lead to dangers, radioactive pollution, etc.

 

Questions for the Future

What would artificial elements be like in the future? How many artificial elements will be found in the next few years? How will elements continue to grow? Will there be any other ways to create artificial elements? If so, how far can it branch out? What are some of the technologies that will be developed in the future with the help / use of elements?

 

 

Citations

 

Links: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zstp34j/articles/zqr4tv4

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/ed200269e# What are elements and compounds?

 

https://prezi.com/dq6zlgplg8aq/difference-between-synthetic-natural-occurring-elements/#:~:text=The%20difference%20between%20a%20synthetic,get%20access%20to%20that%20element. Difference between synthetic and natural elements

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zstp34j/articles/zqr4tv4#:~:text=An%20element%20is%20a%20substance,least%20one%20or%20more%20elements. What are elements?

 

https://home.cern/science/accelerators Particle Accelerators info

 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100622102347.htm Fluerovium Info

 

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-point-of-a-Particle-Accelerator “What is the point of particle accelerators”

 

https://theconversation.com/the-search-for-new-elements-on-the-periodic-table-started-with-a-blast-52862 

https://sciencenotes.org/what-are-the-radioactive-elements/ 

 https://www.thoughtco.com/list-of-radioactive-elements-608644 Radioactive Elements / 

Isotopes

 

Why we make new elements:https://wheatleyscholars.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/why-the-four-new-elements-on-the-periodic-table-are-important/ 

 

What are some uses for new elements: https://interestingengineering.com/real-life-use-every-element-periodic-table 

 

https://www.britannica.com/science/atom What are atoms?

 

What is half/isotope life?https://opentextbc.ca/introductorychemistry/chapter/half-life-2/#:~:text=An%20interesting%20and%20useful%20aspect,initial%20amount%20of%20that%20isotope

Herzog, Gregory F.. "Isotope". Encyclopedia Britannica, 2 Jun. 2020, 

 

https://www.britannica.com/science/isotope

. Accessed 9 February 2021. 

 

https://www.britannica.com/science/atom Atoms (Feb 10) 

 

Acknowledgement

Thank yous to

Ayo - Ideas

Mrs.Hobart - Organization and idea help