100 years after Rutherford discovered the atomic nucleus the limits of what combinations of protons and neutrons can make up a nucleus are still only known for the lightest elements. Exploring the nuclear landscape and pushing towards the limits of nuclear existence is important for the understanding of the strong force and the element formation in the universe. Even the observation of only a few nuclei of a new species can already yield information for example on the evolution of the proton-neutron interaction as a function of isospin or the path of the rapid neutron capture process responsible for the synthesis of the heavy elements beyond iron.
The discovery of new isotopes requires new developments in accelerator and detector technology. The new Radioisotope Beam Factory in Japan and the future projects FAIR in Germany and FRIB in the U.S. promise to expand the nuclear horizon even further. In the talk a short history of isotope discoveries will be presented and the future perspectives will be discussed.