Scientists create never-before-seen isotope of magnesium

Scientists have just created the world’s lightest form of magnesium — a never-before-seen isotope with just six neutrons in its atomic nuclei — inside a giant atom smasher.

And while the substance disintegrates too quickly to be measured directly, the researchers expect their discovery will help scientists better understand how atoms are constructed. That’s because such exotic isotopes — versions of chemical elements with either more or fewer neutrons in their nuclei than usual — can help define the limits of the models that scientists use to figure out how atoms work. 

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