Michael Thoennessen

News: June 30, 2016

Book on the Discovery of Isotopes published

My book The Discovery of Isotopes was published earlier this month by Springer.

New rankings for 2015 compiled
The new rankings for the last year are listed below. In addition to the new isotopes discovered in 2015 the ranking also reflects several reassignments made during the work on the book in order to follow a uniform set of guidelines for all elements.

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

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NEW 2015 Ranking:

I recently completed the literature search for new discoveries in the year 2015. 20 new nuclides were reported in 2015. In addition, several assignments were reevaluated and changed to follow more uniform guidelines for all elements. The guidelines and all assignments are included in a new book on the Discovery of Isotopes which will be published later this year by Springer.

Until the end of 2015, a total of 3211 nuclides have been discovered. 3597 unique authors reported these discoveries in 1531 different papers with 901 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 list of 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.