Volume 94 Issue 5 | p. 28 | Concentrates
Issue Date: February 1, 2016

Relativity Could Alter Superheavy Bonding

Chemical Bonding: Periodic trends might be broken by relativistic effects in superheavy elements, model suggests
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: JACS In C&EN
Keywords: superheavy elements, relativity, periodic table

For decades, chemists have hypothesized that relativistic effects could alter the bonding properties of superheavy elements. These effects come into play when the charge on an atom’s nucleus becomes so large that its electrons orbit close to the speed of light. A new theoretical study from a team led by Jun Li at Tsinghua University adds more intrigue to the idea, suggesting that diatomic molecules made of superheavy group VI elements have . . .

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