4 New elements make their way into the periodic table

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4 New elements make their way into the periodic table

On December 30, the US-based International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), the organization that oversees chemical nomenclature, terminology, and measurement, announced that the claims of discovery of elements 113, 115, 117, and 118 were verified and that they would now be part of the periodic table. All of the new elements were created synthetically using particle accelerators to smash lighter atomic nuclei together.

The last amendment to the periodic table was made in 2011 when elements 114 and 116 were added. Although researchers had made claims about discovering these new elements years ago, they had to be verified by a team of experts before they were added to the table. After a thorough investigation, the discovery of element 113 has been credited to a team of researchers at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science, Wako. This will be the first artificial element that East Asia will name. The remaining elements’ discovery has been credited to a team of Russian and American scientists. The Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee together worked to discover elements 115 and 117. Finally, the heaviest of all elements, element 118, was credited to the Dubna and Lawrence Livermore teams.

As of now, the elements have not been named. The IUPAC stated in its press release that, “IUPAC has now initiated the process of formalizing names and symbols for these elements temporarily named as ununtrium, (Uut or element 113), ununpentium (Uup, element 115), ununseptium (Uus, element 117), and ununoctium (Uuo, element 118).” The new elements would be named as per IUPAC’s nomenclature guidelines which state that the elements can be named after a mythological concept, a scientist, a place or country, a property, or a mineral.  

Although physicists are attempting to create newer and heavier elements, according to most experts in the field, elements beyond 120 may be difficult to create as the chances of getting two nuclei to fuse are rare.


Four chemical elements added to periodic table (accessed on January 5)

Periodic table's seventh row finally filled as four new elements are added (accessed on January 5)

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Published on: Jan 06, 2016

Sneha’s interest in the communication of research led her to her current role of developing and designing content for researchers and authors.
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