Michael Thoennessen

News: New Website live!

March 26, 2024

Today, the new Discovery of Nuclides Project website was launched. The current website will not be updated anymore. Please visit the new site at https://frib.msu.edu/public/nuclides or click the button:

Please check out the new features of the site. You can send corrections, suggestions, or any other comments to email.


Note: The information below and in the side panels will not be updated anymore.

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

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


NEW 2022 Ranking:

I completed the literature search for new discoveries in the year 2022. This year 11 new nuclides were reported. In addition, one isotope (150Yb) which was discovered in 2011 had only been added this year. No reassignments were made during this year.

Thus, until the end of 2022, a total of 3338 nuclides have been discovered. 3969 unique authors reported these discoveries in 1575 different papers with 928 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.