Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract An experiment to synthesize element 109 is presented. Decay patterns characteristic of complete fusion products were searched for in an irradiation of209Bi targets with58Fe projectiles at specific incident energies of 4.95, 5.05, and 5.15 MeV/u. A total dose of 7 ×1017 particles was obtained. The experimental method involves in-flight separation of forward peaked reaction products with a static-field velocity filter, their passage through a time-of-flight device and their final implantation into position sensitive solid state detectors to measure their kinetic energy, approximate mass and their time and position of incidence. The subsequent decay of the narrowly localised reaction products by cascades of alpha particles and/or spontaneous fission is also registered in terms of the energies and times of all the emitted particles. One outstanding decay sequence that started with the emission of two alpha particles within subsequent time intervals of 5 ms and 22 ms and ended with spontaneous fission after 13 s was found at 5.15 MeV/u. The first alpha particle had a kinetic energy of (11.10±0.04) MeV. A detailed analysis of all the alternative interpretations of this observation, such as a purely random correlation of signals, the decay of a product from a transfer reaction or of any of the various energetically possible evaporation residues, shows that the isotope with mass 266 of element 109, i.e. the one neutron evaporation channel after complete fusion, is the statistically most significant assignment. The outlook for new element synthesis is also briefly discussed.
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