Nobelium


The discovery of nobelium, element 102, is still an unresolved question, since its discovery had been announced by three different research groups. The same technique was employed by all groups working on element 102. The recoil procedure involves irradiating a thin target with heavy ions and then catching the recoil atoms on a foil. This method has several advantages such as the possibility of immediate separation of the short-lived recoil atoms from the intense radioactivity of the target, the ability to do repeated irradiations with the same target and the possibility of adapting the technique to identify the original recoil atoms by collecting recoils from the alpha decay of the initial product atoms.