Carbon-22 is shockingly huge & shockingly stable

from PhysOrg (via io9) –

Physicists in Japan have discovered Carbon-22, an exotic isotope of one of the universe’s most abundant elements. With a nucleus greater than those of heavier elements like carbon and zinc, it is the biggest example yet of a “halo nucleus.”

Discovered in a particle accelerator at the University of Tokyo, Carbon-22 has six protons and a whopping sixteen neutrons in its nucleus.

[…] Physicists hope the discovery of Carbon-22 is just the beginning of a far larger exploration of exotic isotopes, as new and better detectors will allow scientists to discover even larger isotopes in halo nucleus configurations.

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