Science: Element 100

Atomic scientists passed a kind of milestone. Last week they announced the creation of Element 100, a job done by "fattening" atoms of Plutonium 239 (94 protons, 145 neutrons) in the materials testing reactor at Arco, Idaho. The plutonium atoms absorbed 15 neutrons and emitted six beta particles (electrons). Since a neutron minus an electron equals a proton, the net result was Element 100 (100 protons, 154 neutrons).

Element 100 had almost as many creators (from Argonne National Laboratory, California's Radiation Laboratory and elsewhere) as it has neutrons. It has a half life of three hours. It has no name so far,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!