British scientists make major atomic discovery

Updated 2016-12-27 09:30:10 Xinhua

Scientists at the University of Manchester, where the atom was first split a century ago, announced another atomic discovery on Monday, which they claimed would have a global impact.

"There are still surprising gaps in our knowledge about how actinide elements form chemical bonds with other elements. One of the big questions is the extent to which electrons are shared between the elements, known as covalency," said a spokesman with the university.

Researchers at Manchester used a technique known as pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) to measure how key elements form those chemical bonds.

Because the extent of covalency has a huge effect on the chemistry of elements, the new knowledge could lead to the development of actinide chemistry, according to the researchers.

The elements are said to be important in the separation and recycling of nuclear waste, which is extremely significant especially when more nuclear power stations are built as the availability of fossil fuels around the world is reducing.

The research, published in the Nature Chemistry journal, was led by Dr. David Mills, Dr. Floriana Tuna and professor Eric McInnes from the University of Manchester's School of Chemistry.

Mills said "Now that we have proven that is possible to measure actinide covalency by pulsed EPR spectroscopy, I am very excited about the multiple avenues of research that we can now pursue. We will be able to gain insights and challenge assumptions about f-elements, the area of the periodic table where our understanding currently lags behind that of other elements."

Ernest Rutherford changed the world in 1917 when he split the atom at the University of Manchester, paving the way for the development of nuclear power, as well as cancer-fighting radiotherapy.

This new discovery was another atomic breakthrough made by the university after that.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58April 22 2018 22:23:38

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16April 22 2018 22:23:38

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18April 22 2018 22:23:38

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords