moscovium mŏskōˈvēəm [key], artificially produced radioactive chemical element; symbol Mc; at. no. 115; mass number of most stable isotope 288; m.p., b.p., sp. gr., and valence unknown. Situated in Group 15 of the periodic table, it is expected to have properties similar to those of bismuth and antimony.

In a 27-day experiment in 2003, scientists from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California collaborated in the discovery of moscovium. They bombarded atoms of americium-243 with ions of calcium-48. Among the products of the bombardment were one atom of moscovium-287 and three atoms of moscovium-288, each of which in less than one tenth of a second decayed into atoms of nihonium by emitting an alpha particle. Moscovium-289 and moscovium-290 have also been produced (2009) at Dubna by alpha-particle decay of tennessine. Swedish researchers from Lund Univ., in a 2013 experiment at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research, Darmstadt, Germany, largely replicated the 2003 results, producing moscovium-288. The Russian-American discovery of the element was confirmed by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in 2015. The name moscovium, in honor of the Moscow region (home of the Dubna facility), was suggested by the element's discoverers in 2016 and approved by IUPAC later that year. The most stable isotope of moscovium, Mc-289, has a half-life of approximately 200 msec.

See also synthetic elements; transactinide elements; transuranium elements.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Compounds and Elements