The Periodic Table of the Elements: The search for transactinides and beyond

Maria Terranova, Odilon Tavares


The Periodic Table of  Mendeleev, initially proposed on the basis of 66 elements, and containing 82 elements at the time of Moseley (1887−1915),      describes nowadays 118 elements. The huge challenge of this scientific adventure was, and still is, the development of  technologies and methods   capable of producing elements of atomic number Z > 103, known as superheavy elements (SHE), or transactinides. This paper presents a  survey of experiments and theoretical approaches that led physicists and chemists of today to discover and characterize a number of SHE isotopes. A glance is also given to the feasibility studies performed by scientists   aiming to going beyond Z = 118, building-up further neutron-rich nuclides    and reaching the ultimate goal of creating long-living new elements at the edge of the Table.

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