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Will we reach the island of stability by 2050?
Since the synthesis of neptunium in 1940, we have been continually expanding the periodic table by creating new elements. Regrettably, as atoms have become bigger, they also have become less stable, the last few elements to be created having a half-life of less than a second.
Yet it is theorized that at some point, stability of new elements might start increasing again, creating an island of stability. There are certain "magic numbers" of protons that offer the chance of higher stability; 114, 120 and 126 are magic numbers. We have yet to reach elements 120 and 126 and there might still be more stable isotopes of element 114 that have not yet been created.
It is asked:
Will we create an isotope of an element that has more than 110 protons, that has a half-life of at least one day (86,400 seconds) prior to 2050?
In order for the question to resolve positive the half-life of the isotope must be verified by an independent scientific team to be greater than one day prior to 2050.
Metaculus help: Predicting
Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.
The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.
The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.
Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.
Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.
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Metaculus help: Community Stats
Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.