Clarkson University professor participates in international colloquium to name new elements
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 - 9:45 am

Clarkson University professor of engineering Liya Regel recently participated 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. 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 Katsuyuki Tatsumi, who delivered congratulations and certificates to 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 discoveries lend credence to his 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. 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.