Talk:Meitnerium

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Good article Meitnerium has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
October 16, 2012 Good article nominee Listed
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This article is part of Wikipedia:WikiProject Elements. Elementbox converted 10:47, 15 July 2005 by Femto (previous revision was that of 20:05, 7 June 2005). 7 June 2005

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Named for female scientist[edit]

It's trivia, but may be worth noting that it's only the second element (after Curium) to be named after a non-fictional woman. (Only two other elements are named after female figures: Niobium and Vanadium, and they're both mythological.) Lurlock (talk) 15:40, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Well, for Cm, it is kinda disputable if it's specifically after her or after both the Curies (can someone check)? Double sharp (talk) 16:38, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, Cm could be for both Curies. Me no resources to confirm that by RS. Must have been a nice lab. -DePiep (talk) 23:38, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
"As the name for the element of atomic number 96 we should like to propose "curium" , with symbol Cm. The evidence indicates that element 96 contains seven 5f electrons and is thus analogous to the element gadolinium with its seven 4f electrons in the regular rare earth series. On this base element 96 is named after the Curies in a manner analogous to the naming of gadolinium, in which the chemist Gadolin was honored." (p. 12, original discovery document). So indeed, it looks as though Cm is for both Curies and Mt is the first specifically after a female scientist. Double sharp (talk) 12:22, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Even more noteworthy then. That means it's not just the first but so far the only element named after a non-mythological woman, and likely to remain so for some time. (As far as I know, none of the proposed names for 113, 115, 117, or 118 are after women, and it's unknown whether anything larger will ever be synthesized as it would require another valence level.) Is it worth adding to the article somewhere? Lurlock (talk) 17:23, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Added. (GSI and JINR are trying to synthesize 119 and 120. It remains to be seen if they will be successful: there have been quite a few failed attempts...) Double sharp (talk) 04:03, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Should we also mention Curium, as others may think as I did that it was named just for Marie Curie and not both of them. Marie seems to get more of the historical attention than her husband did, though whether that's because she was a woman or in spite of it I couldn't say. Either way, the element was at least half named after her, so it might be worth clearing up any possible ambiguity with the statement that Meitnerium is the first. Lurlock (talk) 20:33, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Nucleosynthesis section[edit]

The removal of the section Nucleosynthesis, describing the processes by which the element can be produced, by Double Sharp on Sep 2nd. is bizarre. Is there any justification for this? Perhaps the title confused somebody and it would be clearer if it simply said 'synthesis'. --Brian Josephson (talk) 10:44, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Already in isotopes article. Not major. Specific to isotopes. See Talk:Hassium/R8R review#Nucleosynthesis for more info (same applies for pretty much every element with that section. I just left it in No, Lr, Db, and Sg because those articles were so bad that they were honestly better with it than without it). Double sharp (talk) 14:47, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
  • In isotopes article? It isn't.
  • Not major? Synthesis is crucial.
  • Specific to isotopes? How is that relevant? The missing sections should be restored.--Brian Josephson (talk) 16:00, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
Missing? I think not. The first synthesis is crucial. The rest is just "meh, another isotope got synthesized by some team. So what?" It doesn't really improve our understanding of Mt as such. It improves our understanding of isotope half-lives in the region in general, but it doesn't really change what we know about Mt as an element, and so doesn't belong here. Whereas chemical properties, even predicted, are specific to each element. Whereas what we know about some unsynthesized isotope in "The Gap" between hot and cold fusion products is really just as a general "The Gap". We have, for better or worse, divided isotopes by proton number, and discussed them in terms of that. This does not show such 2D structures on the isotopes map very well, so we shouldn't put them in the articles on elements with nuclides of specific proton numbers.
It may not be in the isotopes article now (my edit seems to not have been saved...) but it certainly fits there. There already is a "nucleosynthesis" section there, which shows that it is a good and reasonable place. (Update: added it there. It seems to have saved this time.) Double sharp (talk) 02:57, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
First of all I must say that I hadn't realised that there was an article 'isotopes of meitnerium' that you were referring to, and not just 'isotopes'. However, all is not well even taking that article into account. I find it very disturbing that you appear to have deleted sections of the main article without having checked that they had been made available elsewhere. Apart from this, I'd have thought that the means by which something is produced is important enough to be included in the main article, whereas all we have at the moment is a very brief mention of the initial discovery, which is only a small part of the story. In any event, there is no rule that says the same information cannot appear in two different articles, and it limits the value of an encylopedia if certain information is not to be found in the place where people would naturally look (unless it is very well cross-referenced, which it is not in this case). The only thing I'd have a bit of sympathy with is that the catalogue 'this didn't work, this didn't work ...' looks a little peculiar and I don't think there's a good case for keeping it. --Brian Josephson (talk) 10:51, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
They were already there, just not in the rewritten and fully cited version.
There may not be such a rule, but in my opinion there is no necessity to have this info here. You are doubtless of the opinion that how each isotope of Mt was synthesized is important, right? That info is still in the main article (how the isotopes were each first synthesized). And it's not really part of the story, IMHO. The means how each isotope is produced? There really is not enough info to say more than "In V year, W group synthesized X isotope of Y element through Z reaction." Such info is very specific to each isotope. And I do not see how production is important for an element like this. The most important isotopes are the heavier ones which are made from decay, so it usually isn't even synthesized deliberately. Even so, consider this: do you really care about when different civilizations got their first sample of C? No, right? Maybe just the first and whoever had control of the supply later. That is what we do here. Think: why does carbon not have that? For that matter, why doesn't oxygen have a whole section of nucleosynthesis of isotopes like 24O? That is also production of O. Double sharp (talk) 11:20, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't think nucleosynthesis sections should be removed from transactinide articles. Yes, they are hard to write, but that is not an excuse to leave this stuff out which is otherwise the bulk of what is actually known about these rare elements. Nergaal (talk) 11:16, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
    • "the bulk of what is actually known" One danger of those WP articles on SHEs as they currently are is that they are written largely by physics "fans", not chemistry "fans" (pardon the term). That in itself is all right, but it tends to give the impression that we know almost nothing except...really, what does this section give except who discovered what isotope (on R8R's carbon analogy: which group discovered what source of carbon), and that can be easily added in to the table if there's a consensus that that is notable (and personally I feel it isn't, at least not to the element: to the isotopes article, I suppose it is). We know some chemistry of Hs (and what do we know for the isotopes of Hs? Mostly just half-lives and decay energy, everything else is pretty much predictions). If you add in predictions, we know a great deal more interesting content that I covered in the Hs article (270Hs island of stability of deformed nuclei, Hs oxide chemistry, properties of metallic Hs). That is very defensible for this article (the island because Hs is pretty universally acknowledged to be the centre of it). For Mt, we have info about planned chemistry experiments also, along with predictions and challenges for them. We even have an isotopes section (though it's not really interesting for Mt, not being the centre of any interesting nuclear phenomenon). This gives the reader a better understanding of the element as a whole.
    • "hard to write" What? Not really. At least not in their current incarnation, when they are vaguely coherent chronological lists of when who discovered what isotope with no further reason why this should be interesting. The latter is my main gripe with those sections: they do not, and AFAIK cannot show anything other than their face value. They do not have depth with regards to our understanding of the element. It's just "yay, another space filled in in the table of nuclides". Not that that's bad: see the general thing about "The Gap" between hot- and cold-fusion nuclides. But that is a general thing, not limited to one element. We have organized isotopes by proton number, neglecting one dimension of the isotopes map. That is standard. Of course it limits our view. Anyone up for creating a section in superheavy element? :-P (I'll probably do that sometime)
    • Oh, and if you still think that it's not possible to write a truly great SHE article without nucleosynthesis (117 and 118 don't count, having so few known isotopes): I'm planning to FA Hs (mostly done) and Fl (the nuclear section left, and I have a lot to write there), see you around! Double sharp (talk) 11:35, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

If you think being 'truly great' is the issue, then you don't understand the purpose of an encyclopedia, which is to be informative. And don't forget the editors' maxim: 'first of all, do no harm'. --Brian Josephson (talk) 11:52, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

You misunderstand me, I see. :-) What I meant was the thought that a SHE article minus nucleosynthesis would be worse than one with nucleosynthesis. I disagree, as you can see. And intend to show the proof through improving articles to FA. Now doesn't that benefit the encyclopedia? Also, I don't really think this is harm. (In fact, I think the opposite: that it's good for the article!) Read my arguments. :-) Double sharp (talk) 12:24, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
I'm well aware that you think removing that section improves the article, but I don't think many will agree with you (so far one person has agreed with my position and none have agreed with your position). That is not to say improvement is impossible, and I've already indicated ways in which this might be done. --Brian Josephson (talk) 17:06, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

I'll make a single comment (I'm leaving the city early in the morning).

"Do no harm" is a debatable one (what is "harm"?). We delete articles for lack of notability. A similar case here. Srsly, this stuff isn't importnat for almost every reader (try yourself: aside from a few dates and mass numbers, what can you actually remember after one read? after two? can that be summarized into a single para like "Since the original discovery, XXXX of meitenerium has been made, via nuclear collisions and from decay of heavier atoms." and a For more details, see Your Article line?

The is such thing named "excessive details." This is the case. I mean, take any FA of your choice. It could be easily made twice as long. There is an optimal size, though, with some items in and some details out. If there's too much details, even if the article is informative, it ain't that great anymore. It can be a great article, it will even have more details, which, with a good hierarchy, will be easy to find, but it won't be a Wikipedia featured article (FA criterion 4).

For an encyclopedia, "informative" is one of the subcharacteristics of "truly great". Normally when the structure and prose are decent, an article is informative. But another thing is, many people also love to read these articles as sorta narratives. For a text, this section is redundant.

Also, for being stored just in case, it is too raw. Much data must be missing, and the list of syntheses grows every year. There's no reason to keep up. It soon will (or maybe already has) reach 50 events. Should we keep them here? And those we have, they're no special, they're just some that are here.

With little understanding of SHE, paras like this are scary:

With alpha decay spectrum for 268Mt appears to be complicated from the results of several experiments. Alpha lines of 10.28,10.22 and 10.10 MeV have been observed. Half-lives of 42 ms, 21 ms and 102 ms have been determined. The long-lived decay is associated with alpha particles of energy 10.10 MeV and must be assigned to an isomeric level. The discrepancy between the other two half-lives has yet to be resolved. An assignment to specific levels is not possible with the data available and further research is required.

The rest of paras aren't much better. And this stuff isn't just poorly written, it is hardcore in its essence. Which is why it should go to a subarticle.

If you move that elsewhere, where it could do no harm, okay then, do it. Subarticles are a good thing. (Just cut and paste elsewhere if you wanna keep it.) Add a subheader like For more details on further syntheses of this element, see YourArticle. But if you keep it here, this article will lose in quality. It will be more difficult to read (it's not that difficult, but that section's redundant here). This, for example, lowers the FA promotion chances. However, I don't mind having notable further syntheses here (like, if we ever reach the island of stability with this element, it should be here). Also, see fluorine and its subarticles (check for Main article: subheaders to see what I mean)

Why exactly this text is not so great, Double sharp has explained perfectly.

Tl;dr It is excessive here. And of outstandingly poor quality (hard to read, much info missing)--R8R Gtrs (talk) 21:10, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

P.S. 2:1 is no clear sign of the opponent not being right. I'd go ask for opinions elsewhere no matter what side I were on. 4:1 maybe. (forgoing by user R8R Gtrs)

Too many people here don't really understand what encylcopedias and works of reference are about, so I won't go on. People who understand how w'pedia works have commented, correctly in my view, that w'pedia is broken in a number of respects, this episode being a good illustration of the fact. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:27, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
And, given your comments on FAs above, perhaps it's better for an article to be a useful one for the benefit of people who consult it for reference than a featured one w'pedia style. Should an article be 'dumbed down' for its entertainment value, as happens with TV programs to the irritation of people with a scientific training who would like some details to be filled in and are frustrated when they are not? Perhaps some articles need to be duplicated, so as to serve both classes of users (as indeed does happen in some cases, where there is both an expert version and a simpler summary. I must say I have found such an configuration useful sometimes). --Brian Josephson (talk) 14:56, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
We already point to where you can find the detailed info. Isn't that what subarticles and hatnotes "See also" were made for? Now we have a subarticle focusing solely on the isotopes of meitnerium, where readers can find all the trivia (as I see it) about where and when each isotope was first discovered. Double sharp (talk) 15:31, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
If done well, your suggestion would be fine. There could e.g. be a section 'further information' (I can't see a 'see also' in this article), listing related pages in the manner of 'for X, see Y'. As it is, the edits seem to be done in an unbelievably slipshod manner (cf. the point I made earlier that you didn't check that your insertion in another article was there before removing it from this page). --Brian Josephson (talk) 15:43, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
I added it here. Will go through the other SHEs and check later. But commonly those sections in the isotopes articles go into a whole lot more detail of each isotope (because I cut the unreferenced material – I couldn't find refs for them – in this article), so I'm not sure straight-out copy-pasting the excised sections is an improvement in all cases. For Mt it does improve the isotopes article. For Ds I'm not sure it does. I haven't checked the others yet (Bh–113). Double sharp (talk) 16:10, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
Good -- glad we could come to some agreement on this. I've heard that you've done something similar on other SHE pages, so perhaps you can add similar cross-references there also. --Brian Josephson (talk) 16:51, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
I'll take a much more in-depth look through tomorrow. Double sharp (talk) 16:22, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

...and  Done (Rf, Bh, Mt, Ds, Rg, Cn, 113). Hs and Fl were already done beforehand. Double sharp (talk) 13:35, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

  • God, you guys are writing too much. Personally, I still prefer discussing nucleosynthesis, even if it is "isotope X was first synthesized in 19xx by xyz from elementx and elementY, then further synthesized from reaction2 in year2". I still don't get why you guys want to remove that completely. Technically speaking, in my opinion, SHE element sithout nucleosynthesis should not pass a FAC. Nergaal (talk) 18:49, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
    • So why don't we have that on all elements? Or even all synthetic elements? That is equally nucleosynthesis. Should we now demote H from FA because it doesn't tell us when and by whom 4H to 7H were discovered? (I don't think so.) What is the fundamental difference between Md and No, for example, that No somehow needs a nucleosynthesis section while Md doesn't? The amount of chemistry we know of them is about the same! Individual nuclides are not too notable. I mean, for Mt, if you asked me what I thought was the most important isotope, I would say 278Mt, only because it's the longest lived and has chances to go to the island of stability. And that was not even synthesized directly, and has nothing else special. The other Mt isotopes? None really captures interest with nuclear physics. It's not like 254No or 270Hs which are actually stabilized by nuclear shells. Such isotopes are notable enough to go into their main articles, but are really the exceptions to the rules. In Hs and Fl we talk about 270Hs and 298Fl respectively, both predicted to be stabilized. These are notable and help the main article. When each isotope was synthesized, with no further depth given as to why each isotope actually matters (what these nucleosynthesis articles are about), really does not help the main article. It does help the "isotopes of" article and certainly can go there easily. Double sharp (talk) 07:07, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Huh? you mean that by the same rationale this article needs a separate applications section, and a biological role one? On a more serious note, I see the nucleosynthesis section being the equivalent of all elements that can be isolated in bulk. Nergaal (talk) 23:23, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
If there are cited predictions, then I say why not. (OR ahead: Ir is unreactive and is thus nontoxic. Mt should be similar. It doesn't really do much. And its compound should be insoluble like Ir's, so its toxicity and biological role should be essentially nil. Mt could also be useful if you wanted a very heavy, hard and unreactive metal and Os or Ir would not be enough. This presupposes stable isotopes.)
Could you clarify your last sentence? I'm not sure what you mean. Double sharp (talk) 11:46, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
I meant that if for a stable element we have where is it mined, how is it mined, and how is the pure element produced, a synthetic element should have a nucleosynthesis section that replaces the production section. Nergaal (talk) 15:10, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

I agree with you, it's just that simply removing the section, as was done initially, is a disaster, but the change that ## has just carried out (including the cross-reference) makes it less of a disaster. There still seems to be little support for ##'s position. And of course if it is 'of outstandingly poor quality', that is cause for improving the text, not its removal. --Brian Josephson (talk) 19:01, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

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