March 15, 2019, by jicke

Professor Yuri Oganessian celebrates year of periodic table with Nottingham visit

Professor Yuri Oganessian, esteemed nuclear physicist and the only living person to have an element named after him gave the Sir Jesse Boot Foundation lecture to a packed audience to help celebrate the 150th year of the Periodic Table.

As well as giving the lecture which covered some of Yuri’s world-leading research into superheavy chemical elements, he also met with colleagues across Chemistry, including members of the team at nmRC who presented him with the world’s smallest periodic table alongside a miniaturised portrait of him and the creator of the periodic table Dmitri Mendeleev. The piece was made from silicone and measures just 14 µm  ´  7 µm which is over 6 times smaller than the previous record and the largest dimension is smaller than the diameter of a single fibre of merino wool.  The individual lines in the letters are around 30nm which is about the size of the smallest virus. The portraits’ thickness range from 100nm to 1µm meaning they are about 1000 times thinner than a single layer of skin.

Professor Andrei Khlobystov, director of the nmRC, said: “Our Centre has a globally unique combination of equipment, facilities and expertise for nanoscience research, and I am thrilled to have Yuri Oganessian visiting us. Due to his pioneering research the periodic table has no gaps in it now – all periods are full! Every day we use a vast range of materials in the nmRC to study their structures and properties, or to make tiny structures such as in the EBL process which sounds almost magical. It is even more magical to realise that everything in the world is made of 118 elements (or fewer is we disregard the unstable ones), with the last one named after Yuri Oganessian”.

Professor Oganessian also unveiled a new plaque in the Chemistry building to commemorate his visit and mark this special year in Periodic Table history.  Sir Martyn Poliakoff invited Professor Oganessian to visit the University and said: “Yuri Oganessian is a real superhero of the Periodic Table, an excellent scientist and also a charming person. It’s fantastic that he accepted our invitation to visit Nottingham and the nmRC’s periodic table is a fitting tribute to mark Yuri’s visit. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the lecture, including his granddaughter who came with him.”


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