TOKYO, June 9 (UPI) — Japanese scientists using the world’s most powerful beam of heavy ions say they have discovered 45 new radioisotopes.
The researchers at the Riken Nishina Center said they and their international collaborators uncovered 45 new neutron-rich radioisotopes in a region of the nuclear chart never before explored.
“In only four days, a team of researchers at the Riken Nishina Center for Accelerator Based Science have identified more new radioisotopes than the world’s scientists discover in an average year,” officials said, explaining radioactive isotopes — or radioisotopes — are unstable chemical elements with either more or fewer neutrons than their stable counterparts.
The researchers said the newly discovered radioisotopes not only expand our knowledge of nuclear physics, they also provide essential clues about the origins of atoms in the universe.
Riken scientists said further improvements at the accelerator facility promise to dramatically boost heavy-ion beams to more than 1,000 times their current intensities, “unleashing thousands of new radioisotopes and heralding a new era in high-energy nuclear physics.”
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