Inorganic chemistry

What is the haviest chemical element?

Heaviest chemical element?


What is the heaviest chemical element?

Uranium the heaviest element :

Uranium is the heaviest element that can be found in its natural state. But Mendeleev’s periodic table has been enriched over time by increasingly heavy elements created artificially.

What is the lightest chemical element ? It is without question hydrogen , or more exactly its 1 H isotope  , which contains only a proton and an electron , two particles which cannot be deconstructed into smaller particles.

But what is the opposite, the heaviest element? By convention, the mass of an atom is determined by its atomic number , that is to say the number of protons present in its nucleus.

In reality, the atomic mass depends on the number of nucleons (protons and neutrons ), which means that certain isotopes of an element with a lower atomic number may have an atomic mass greater than that of heavier elements.

Uranium, the heaviest chemical element in its natural state

Until 1940, the heaviest known chemical element was uranium , atomic number 92. It is still the heaviest that can be found in nature, although it decays very slowly over several billion years.

Most abundant Isotope of uranium :

The most abundant is its isotope 238, which contains 92 protons and 146 neutrons.

The isotope 238 of lead , with 82 protons and 126 neutrons, is the heaviest of all existing stable nuclides.

But in 1940, chemists succeeded in producing the isotope 239 of neptunium by bombarding uranium 238 with neutrons.

At atomic number 92, uranium is the heaviest element found naturally on Earth. © viking75, Fotolia
Uranium the heaviest element

The heavier element of the periodic table:

Today, oganesson , atomic number 118, is officially the heaviest chemical element on the periodic table . Synthesized in 2002, it is very unstable and disintegrates in less than a millisecond.

All its physical and chemical properties are therefore theoretical and derive from calculation models.

The oganesson completes the seventh line of the periodic table and some physicists consider that the table is now finishedand that it’s impossible to go beyond.

Islands of stability :

Others speculate on the contrary on the possibility of an eighth line, thanks in particular to the existence of “islands of stability”, where certain superheavy isotopes could remain longer.

You must read it also :

Has the heaviest element been found?

You may also like that one :

uranium is used for nuclear power?

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button