The periodic table that we all know and love (or hate, if chem 101 wasn’t your thing) was always this strange jagged thing- until now, that is. Scientists from a Russian-US collaboration and a Japanese team have discovered elements 113, 115,117 and 118, the first to be uncovered since 114 and 116 were found in 2011.
Though the Russian-US team claimed to have discovered all four elements, credit for 113 was awarded to the Japanese team.
The team of scientists at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California will have to be satisfied with the naming rights for the final three pieces of the periodic puzzle.
All four elements were verified two days before the new year, by the US-based International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.
Kosuke Morita, the lead scientist for the Japanese team, intends to make certain that the smooth-looking periodic table will soon regrow its rugged stubble; he says that said his team now planned to “look to the uncharted territory of element 119 and beyond.”
“The chemistry community is eager to see its most cherished table finally being completed down to the seventh row,” said Professor Jan Reedijk, president of the Inorganic Chemistry Division of IUPAC.
“IUPAC has now initiated the process of formalising 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).”
Uut Uup Uus Uuo doesn’t make for compelling discourse, and so it is good to know that the researchers get to name their lab-created discoveries.
113 will also be the first element ever named and discovered by scientists in Asia.
These elements are synthetic, created by slamming smaller atoms together until something new pops out. They cannot exist for more than a fraction of a second before decaying, though their brief lifespan has given chem text book publishers all the reason they need to publish a new updated edition…
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