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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 24, 2018, 07:59 PM

4. Well, to be honest, I never actually considered the situation on that level...

...since my interest sort of wanes after einsteinium. I have this bad habit of being interested only in elements I can see, and one can, in fact, see photographs of Einsteinium.

I was actually at the 1998 ACS meeting in San Diego where the Seaborgium name was announced, and I attended a lecture on Einsteinium - I actually forgot who was speaking - but Seaborg himself showed up and sat not too far from where I was sitting. They acknowledged him, and he stood and waved to everyone. The title was, if I recall correctly, "Einsteinium, the last visible element.

It was a small room.

I was kind of in awe, sort of like a kid encountering his favorite rock star.

I do have a number of pretty good books on actinide chemistry, including the Seaborg/Loveland classic, but they're old now, as I am old.

I did recently download the 4th edition of The Chemistry of the Actinide and Transactinide Elements (3rd ed., Volumes 1-5), which Princeton recently put on line in their library. (The link here is to the third edition.)

I won't tell you I've read much of it, but I probably will wander through it eventually.

I wasn't aware of the Dirac approach to approaching high Z. There had to be a solution and thank you for providing it. I always thought of it as a kind of joke.

I will download the paper you linked though; it looks interesting.

I am aware of course of relativistic effects in electron configurations; Seaborg covered this in his book years and years and years ago, but I'm sure your link is far more up to date.

More and more I'm interested in my favorite actinide, plutonium, and I'm also getting very interested in neptunium because of its remarkable non-proliferation value.

These two elements I think offer the last best hope for humanity and what's really, really, really, really cool about them is that they form a very low melting eutectic in the metallic state.

Here's the connected phase diagram of the actinides:

( Seigfried Hecker, “Plutonium and Its Alloys, From Atoms to Microstructure” Los Alamos Science No. 26, 290-335 (2000) pg. 301)

Very cool those um, visible actinides...

My youngest son is locked and loaded with that Oppenheimer joke by the way. He actually is fluent in French, decent in Chinese and Spanish, and has a working knowledge of Japanese, Russian and Italian. His ABC friends, (American Born Chinese) are all impressed that he can read and write Chinese characters and they, though they speak the language fluently having learned it from their parents, apparently can't.

He doesn't know Dutch though, as far as I know, also doesn't know German.

He's way smarter than his old man on every level though, way smarter.


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