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Dilithium created and observed in the laboratory! Answered

According to a news report in Physics Today, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have confirmed the creation of element 114 first reported by Dubna physicists in 1999.

As true afficionados may recall from the original Star Fleet Technical Manual (pictured), element 114 is dilithium, used to regulate the matter-antimatter reaction for warp propulsion. Unfortunately, with a lifetime of just a few hundred milliseconds, it's unlikely that crystals of element 114 will be produced any time soon.



Next question: what good is it?

(Sorry, I know nothing about Star Trek.)

I assume you're asking about the real element 114, not the fictional.  All of the trans-plutonium elements are short-lived, artificially produced nuclei.  The extreme ones (elements 102 and above, basically) have half-lives of anywhere from milliseconds to microseconds.  They are the product of research into the basic nature of matter and the forces which hold nuclei together.

The randomized name it is downloaded under starts with "FECK..."

<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_Ted#Father_Jack_Hackett">Drink! Girls!</a><br />

Where's Spock when you need him?

 Dilithium Crystals were often used in the warp core.

I'm not seeing the "dilithium" thing, can you explain how the real-world connects with Star-Trek on this one? (in the context of that article) L

Kiteman's response. The only actual connection is through my brain :-/

In the Star Trek universe, "dilithium" is referred to as "element 114".

They have now made element 114 for real...

It that it? Star-Trek says... OK good enough answer, but I thought they'd be a bit less random than that. L