What is the course about?
Moscovium and Oganesson are synthetic chemical elements with atomic numbers 115 and 118 respectively. Both were created at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, near Moscow, Oganesson in 2002 and Moscovium in 2003.
The story of their creation, which we will explore in this course, is an intriguing story involving powerful particle accelerators, large teams of physicists and tiny numbers of atoms which exist for only fractions of seconds. In this course, we also look at the motivation for creating new elements, the means by which these new elements are created, and the importance of these elements in increasing our understanding of the physical universe.
The research which led to the creation of two new elements is set against the backdrop of the transition of Russia from a Soviet to a post-Soviet society, and their creation maintains a tradition of impressive contributions to science by Russian physicists, a tradition honoured in the naming of these elements after Russia’s capital city and after the Russian nuclear physicist Yuri Oganessian of Armenian descent.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
-Why do physicists want to create new elements?
-How are new elements created?
-The creation of Moscovium and Oganesson – the technical hurdles, the identification of the elements and their importance
-The cradle of the elements – JINR and how science navigated the transition from soviet to post-soviet society.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Explain how and why Moscovium and Oganesson were created
- Identify the importance of the new elements in increasing our understanding of atomic structure
- Describe the techniques used in synthesising elements
- Describe the backdrop of change against which science has proceeded in Russia, and acknowledge how science has succeeded in overcoming national boundaries to participate in and contribue to international research.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is suitable for beginners. No prior knowledge of physics and mathematics is assumed or required, but the course is designed to be of interest to those who have studied physics and mathematics as well.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught online in a number of different ways including presentations with visual examples, discussions and group work. Work outside class will be optional.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You may wish to bring a pen and notepad, but there won’t be any extra costs to the course.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may be interested in HS254: Russian Rockets Reviewed
Please also check the City Lit website for additional courses within the Russian theme.