DOE-SC highlight: FRIB observes five never-before-seen isotopes

04 April 2024

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC) posted a highlight titled “The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams observes five never-before-seen isotopes.” The highlight explains how the first search for new isotopes at FRIB discovered five never-before-seen heavy element isotopes: thulium-182 and 183, ytterbium-186 and 187, and lutetium-190.

This work was performed by a collaboration of scientists from the United States, Japan, and South Korea. Researchers found the new isotopes in the debris of collisions between a stable beam of platinum-198 and a carbon target. The challenge was not to produce these new nuclei but to distinguish them from the hundreds of known nuclei that were produced at the same time, then to precisely identify their mass and charge. These results promise an exciting future and give a glimpse of the scientific reach for the study of heavy rare isotopes. This search for new isotopes succeeded less than one year after FRIB began operating.

Each year, scientists publish thousands of research findings in the scientific literature. About 200 of these are selected annually by their respective program areas in DOE-SC as publication highlights of special note.

Read the highlight on the DOE-SC website.