An Attempt to Solve the Controversies Over Elements 104 and 105: A Meeting in Russia, 23 September 1975
In September 1975, Glenn Seaborg and Al Ghiorso of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) travelled to the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia, to attend the International School-Seminar on Reactions of Heavy Ions with Nuclei and Synthesis of New Elements. While there, they had a 2 hour long meeting with Georgy Flerov, Yuri Oganessian, and other Soviet scientists, in which they discussed the disputes related to the discoveries of elements 104 and 105. This meeting came at a time when an international group of physicists and chemists, referred to as the joint neutral group, had been formed to attempt to solve the problems surrounding the discovery of these new superheavy elements. Neither LBL nor JINR wanted what Flerov referred to as their ``dirty underwear'' put in the ''fresh air'' of this group. What was this ``dirty underwear''? For Flerov, it was the ``wrong'' discussion or speculation on experimental data. But there were other matters of debate, as well, such as experiment design and equipment, the types of techniques used, and differences of opinion regarding what constitutes discovery. This meeting was an attempt to make the joint neutral group unnecessary. In the end, this was goal was unsuccessful. However, thanks to the transcript of the tape recording made by Ghiorso, the meeting provides an insider's view of the dispute and the ways in which the scientists involved attempted to solve it amongst themselves rather than resorting to an outside group.
APS April Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- January 2017