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12-20-2012

Clarkson University Professor Attends Colloquium to Name New Chemical Elements Flerovium and Livermorium

Clarkson University Distinguished Research Professor of Engineering Liya Regel recently participated, by special invitation, in an international colloquium in Moscow organized by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna and the Russian Academy of Sciences. The event was part her trip to Europe and Asia for lectures, events and meetings.

"This historical and festive colloquium celebrated the official recognition of the discovery and naming of two new chemical elements in the periodic table," said Regel.

The celebration included representatives of the two nuclear research centers that collaborated in the discovery of the super-heavy elements 114 and 116: the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions (FLNR) in Dubna, Russia, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California. Consequently, element 114 is now called Flerovium (Fl) and element 116 is now known as Livermorium (Lv).

The ceremony was attended by International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) President Prof. Katsuyuki Tatsumi, who delivered congratulations and certificates to Academician Yuri Oganessian, the scientific leader of FLNR, and William Goldstein, deputy director for science and technology at LLNL. IUPAC is the organization responsible for recognizing and naming new elements.

The colloquium was also attended by leaders of the world’s leading nuclear research centers, including the U.S.; representatives from all 22 countries participating in the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research; representatives of the Russian Academy of Sciences and ministries; the mayors of Dubna and Livermore, Calif.; and ambassadors and other embassy officials from many countries.

Oganessian, who presented his predictions in a lecture at Clarkson in 1992, discussed the program, which he began a few decades ago. He and his team also have scientific evidence for their recent creation of new elements 113, 115, 117 and 118. The achievements represented by his team’s many discoveries lend credence to his extraordinary prediction of “islands of stability,” in which he proposed that elements far beyond those shown in the traditional periodic table could exist.

"Brilliant scientific efforts such as this expand our understanding of the universe," said Regel. "While applications are not the goal, uses frequently come later -- as exemplified by early research on the behavior of gases in a vacuum, now essential for many of our industrial operations, including the manufacture of computer chips."

Regel was one of the first to use the unique facility at Dubna to perform her post-doctoral research on high-energy heavy ion implantation in solid electronic materials. Regel says that she feels very lucky to have had this exceptional opportunity.   

For her scientific achievements, publication of over 250 papers and 12 books, numerous awards and honors, in 2008 Regel was recognized at Clarkson as the Distinguished Research Professor in Engineering -- the only academic in the nation with this title.  

Regel has honorary doctor of science degrees from both Clarkson University and the Alabama A&M University in Huntsville and is associated with both Clarkson's Electrical & Computer Engineering and Mechanical & Aeronautical departments. At her lectures for public audiences around the world, she promotes education for women in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM). At Clarkson she also established the distinguished New Horizons in Engineering lectureship in which speakers at the national- and international-academy- level present their exciting research and visions of the future.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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