Did You Know? Four New Elements Added To Periodic Table

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Four recently discovered substances are joining the periodic table of the elements, finally completing the table’s seventh row and rendering science textbooks around the world instantly out of date.

The elements, discovered by scientists in Japan, Russia and America, are the first to be added to the table since 2011, when elements 114 and 116 were added.

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, which verified their existence, announced the entry of the four elements, the first since 2011 and the first to be found by scientists working in Asia.

These four radioactive “super-heavy” elements are known by temporary names based on the number of protons each contains in its nucleus: ununtrium, ununpentium, ununspetium and ununoctioum. Their discoverers now have the privilege of proposing a permanent name and symbol for each.


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Three of the elements—designated with atomic numbers of 115, 117 and 118—were first detected more than a decade ago by researchers at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. The fourth, with an atomic number of 113, was discovered in 2004 by the Riken research institute in Japan.


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The researchers have considerable leeway in conceiving names for the new elements. International rules allow them to be based on mythological creatures, a mineral, a scientist, or a place, but the international governing body has the final say in approving them.

Apparently, element 113 will be the first element to be named in Asia.

Like other super-heavy elements that populate the end of the periodic table, they only exist for fractions of a second before decaying into other elements.

The most recent entrant to the periodic table was Element 112, formally named copernicium to honor Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.

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