Michael Thoennessen

News: December 22, 2017

2017 Rankings and First Isotopes of 2018

Although a little bit premature, I already compiled the ranking for 2017 (see below). In addition, the first three papers of 2018 reported the discovery of 33 (already only one less than all of 2017) new isotopes. H.B Yang et al. published the paper Alpha decay properties of the semi-magic nucleus 219Np in Phys. Lett. B 777 (2018) 212, and two papers from RIKEN reported a number of new isotopes produced in projectile fragmentation/fission reactions: N. Fukuda et al. Identification of New Neutron-Rich Isotopes in the Rare-Earth Region Produced by 345MeV/nucleon 238U in J. Phys. Soc. Japan 87 (2018) 014202, and Y. Shimizu et al. Observation of New Neutron-rich Isotopes among Fission Fragments from In-flight Fission of 345MeV/nucleon 238U: Search for New Isotopes Conducted Concurrently with Decay Measurement Campaigns in J. Phys. Soc. Japan 87 (2018) 014203.

A summary of all isotope discoveries until the end of 2015 are compiled in my book The Discovery of Isotopes published by Springer. Yearly updates are published by World Scientific (see side panel under publications).

New timeline movie
The animation of the discoveries as a function of time has been updated and includes all isotopes discovered until the middle of 2015: 2015 Timeline Movie

If you would like to receive automatic emails about new isotope discovery papers please send me an email.


NEW 2017 Ranking:

I recently completed the literature search for new discoveries in the year 2017. 34 new nuclides were reported in 2017. Three of these isotopes (149-151Cs) had been included before but were reassigned. Another three isotopes (89Rh, 103Sb anad 152Cs) were retracted.

Thus, until the end of 2017, a total of 3252 nuclides have been discovered. 3717 unique authors reported these discoveries in 1543 different papers with 911 different first authors.

Table of top 1000 (co)authors

Table of top 250 first authors

Table of top 25 labs

Table of countries

Table of top 25 journals

In cataloguing these data, an attempt was made to account for the different use of initials and name changes (due to marriage, for example). However, this might not always be correct. Authors are encouraged to check the discovery papers which were published in At. Data Nucl. Data Tables. Corrections can be sent by email and would be very welcome.

Background of the project:

In 2007 we began a project to document the discovery of all isotopes. In contrast to the discovery of a new element, the first observation of a new isotope is not as well defined.

For each isotope we wrote a brief paragraph describing the discovery, including the authors, institution, year and method of discovery. The paragraph includes a quote from the original paper and discusses any possible controversies related to the discovery.

These paragraphs are being published in a series of papers in the journal Atomic Data and Nuclear Data Tables. Links to the references for each element are listed in the table of the discovery papers.