Going super heavy: the end of the periodic table of elements Wednesday 26 August, 6pm, C1 lecture theatre, University of Canterbury
This year’s Rutherford Lecture will be delivered by Distinguished Professor Peter Schwerdtfeger (Massey University), a leading chemist and physicist who was awarded the Royal Society of New Zealand’s 2014 Rutherford Medal.
The first periodic table of elements, proposed in 1869, was compiled by arranging the elements in ascending order of atomic weight, grouped by chemical properties. At that time, it was not known how high in atomic weight the elements could go before becoming unstable and decaying. The last decade has seen the production of new elements up to nuclear charge 118 – just how heavy can elements go and what can chemists do with such exotic elements? Where does the periodic table end?