At the start of the 21st century, Russian and United States scientists came together at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) to create Element 115. The element’s name original name was ununpentium, but was since changed to Moscovium, symbol Mc, after being approved by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in 2016.
All synthesized elements are created by “shooting a beam of an element at another element” and analyzing how many ions remained in the nucleus. In the case of Element 115, calcium ions were shot into the nucleus of americium. Americium is a very unstable and radioactive element in and of itself and remains unstable with the calcium ions. This is why Moscovium’s half-life is 220 milliseconds and exists for a fraction of a second.
How do we know that it still happened even if it only remained for less than a millisecond? Scientists are able to prove the existence of this element by analyzing and recording the alpha particle emission, or the decay particles the element produces when it disintegrates. Since the element is so unstable, it can not stay for very long.
All elements are classified by the number of protons in the nucleus. Element 115 has one hundred and fifteen protons in the nucleus in addition to one hundred and seventy-three neutrons. The stability of an element depends on the ratio of protons to neutrons in the nucleus. As the nucleus grows in size, it can “radioactively decay and spit out smaller particles.”
Though humans can create new elements, it is not a practice that can be done by just anyone. These elements need to be synthesized in a giant vacuum chamber and use intense machinery that is very expensive and must be controlled and handled in a sophisticated manner.
The first time Element 115 was seen as being stable was on a spacecraft that Bob Lazar, Area 51 specialist, was working on. The element was being used as fuel for the craft and was “manufactured in an extreme and unique way.” The most unusual aspect of Moscovium being used as fuel is that Bob Lazar worked on this spacecraft in the 1980s, long before it was synthesized in a lab. There is no evidence of this being true, only reports claimed by Bob Lazar himself.
Element 115 currently does officially serve any biological role. This element has been proven by scientists that are unable to serve as fuel for any nuclear reactors or crafts, unlike other neighboring elements, such as Plutonium. This discovery questions Bob Lazar’s discovery of how it was used as fuel for the alien spacecraft. Is it possible that extraterrestrial creatures have the ability to make Moscovium stable? Will we be able to use it as a fuel source in the future? Are the aliens are more advanced and have the technology to stabilize these seemingly combusting nuclei? These questions push us to learn more about this new element, test its possibilities, and examine how it can be of use to us in years to come.