New supersensitive technique to study the world’s heaviest elements
The EU-funded LRC project aims to develop a novel method of optical spectroscopy to study the entirely unexplored atomic structure of the transition metals, starting with element 103, lawrencium. The researchers will search for optical spectral lines that can serve as fingerprints in the search for superheavy elements in the universe. The spectral lines are strongly affected by relativistic and quantum electrodynamic effects and therefore serve as anchor points for theoretical calculations that are also performed within this project. The project’s method of laser resonance chromatography is insensitive to physicochemical properties and tolerant to the decreasing yields with increasing atomic number. This paves the way for atomic structure studies of the superheavy elements, especially those of refractory nature beyond lawrencium.
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