A while back I had the need to take a peek at a copy of the periodic table of elements. So I grabbed my old, dusty college chemistry book that I could never quite bring myself to toss. It's called "Chemical Principles", published WAY back in 1970 (God, I must be old!).
While looking through the book, I was stunned (that's about the right word) when I came across a discussion of the possibilities of new elements. I guess I should have paid more attention in class. I offer the following quote from pages 509 and 510:
"What lies ahead for the synthesis of transuranium elements? Will there be more radioactive and extremely short-lived species such as 97 through 104? It now appears as if there is a chance of reaching a new zone of stability that might even include some none radioactive elements. Calculations with nuclear shell models have led to the expectation that element 114, with 114 protons and 184 neutrons (both magic numbers in the new shell theory) would be an island of stability in a sea of instability."
There is further discussion as to how 114 might be made and a neat illustration showing the islands of stability of all elements and their isotopes. With more surprise, I noted that it was taken from an article in the April 1969 (pages 57-67) issue of "Scientific American" by Dr. Glenn Seaborg (One of the heavyweights in the field of Physics).
Well, this was an article I had to see, and I was not disappointed. Everything you ever wanted to know about super-heavy elements. There are some excellent graphics showing the expected half-lives of all the heavyweights. They predict a fission half-life for the most stable isotope of 114 of 10 to the 16th years, and a alpha-decay half-life of 1,000 years. They didn't go into the same level of detail for 115, but it looks like the stuff would clock out considerably sooner by way of beta decay. If you have any interest in the possibilities of 115, this article is a "must read". Sorry, no mention of gravity waves...
All this in 1969! BTW, according to the article, the proper terminology to denote an undiscovered element in a periodic column is the prefix "eka". Therefore 115 should be eka-bismuth. Lose this Un-un-pentium crap!
Ready for another snack?? I thought so. The following is an excerpt from a telephone interview between Stanton Friedman (F) and Dr. Robert Sarabacher (S). The entire interview was transcribed by Harvey Stewart and was last posted to alt.paranet.ufo in January, 1995.
If you don't know who Sarabacher was, in a sentence, he was a prominent, solid US government scientist who had a secret briefing with Canadian scientist Wilbert Smith in 1950 and told Smith that facts in a recent popular book about a UFO crash at Aztec, New Mexico were "essentially true" and that UFO's were classified by the US government 2 points higher than the H bomb. Sarabacher was located in 1983 by William Steinman and Sarabacher confirmed the story. Sarabacher died in July 1986. A truly important piece of the UFO puzzle.
Before Sarabacher died, Stanton Friedman did a phone interview with him. In between Friedmann's attempts to dig more UFO info out of Sarabacher, there was a lot of small talk, and since Sarabacher was fairly old, he tended to ramble a bit. However, a most interesting statement was made by Sarabacher:
F: Were you guys talking about nuclear powered flight at that time?
S: Oh, we were possibly, yes, but I held, had certain ideas see, one of the problems today, we really don't know what gravity is. We don't know and I had an idea, I'm willing to work on it in one of my theses but then my professor didn't believe me, but I had determined that bismuth did not obey the laws of gravity. So I thought that, "Gee, there's a leak". I might be able to get nature to tell me something.
S: But they wouldn't let me, they didn't believe me. Well, they believed me but he said "Hell, that's a second order effect".
S: Which is implying it was in the, in the area of, of the accuracy of the instrument.
S: Well it was, it was and it was clearly, God somebody's going to do something about it one day,....
So where exactly is Bismuth on the Periodic Table of Elements? Why directly above where 115 would fall if it exists. And the way the table works, (generally speaking) elements in the same column have similar properties.
So, just what the hell was Sarabacher referring to? I don't know, but it's sure intriguing! It appears it was back when he was a grad student, in maybe the 30s or 40s. Whatever it was, it was at the very edge of the ability of equipment at the time. Does Bismuth possess any very subtle anomalous physical properties? A good reason for a little research time at the library.
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