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I wouldn't characterize it as "theorized", I would characterize it as "hypothesized", and the hypothesis was a bust at element 114 but 120 and 126 are still on the table. It might be prudent to adopt the Missouri state slogan if you're familiar with that.
originally posted by: pfishy
Ok, here's another actual physics question. What are your various thoughts on the theorized 'island of stability' in the trans-uranium elements?
Scientists hypothesized that element 114 had that magic number, a hypothesis this experiment has disproved. Now the hope rests on elements 120 and 126, the next heaviest elements believed to contain the magic number of nuclear particles needed for stability.
So they missed the boat on their predictions of 114, though I don't think this necessarily makes them bad physicists; as far as I know, nobody really knows how to make accurate predictions of stability, a fact which those authors state as follows:
The present calculation does not indicate a pronounced island of increased stability around Z = 120. In fact the half lives show a decreasing trend with increasing Z from Z = 114 to Z=120.
I find it very easy to agree with that statement, and in fact that may be the best answer to your question.
Detail comparison with the experimental data available so far in the heavy and superheavy mass region suggests that further improvement of mass formulae in the superheavy region is essential for more precise predictions of unknown half-lives.