After a year-long wait, since they were officially recognized, four new elements have officially been added to the periodic table. The new additions complete the seventh row of the periodic table and are the first new elements to be added since 2011.
[ Image Source : Reuters/Kyodo ]
The four new elements to be added by The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) are:
Element 113: Nihonium (Nh)- formerly known as ununtrium.
Element 115: Moscovium (Mc)- formerly known as ununpentium.
Element 117: Tennessine (Ts)- formerly known as ununseptium.
Element 118: Oganesson (Og)- formerly known as ununoctium.
After being synthetically produced in the lab between 2002 and 2010, the four new elements have been known for a while. However, they were only officially recognized by IUPAC in December 2015. Proposals for the new names were accepted in June 2016 and the wait is finally over.
The new elements are man-made and were produced by slamming the nuclei from lighter elements together. The elements were discovered by tracking their radioactive decay. Due to the volatile nature of the nuclei produced, the elements do not remain stable for long before breaking down.
So, what is meaning behind their new names?
Nihonium is named after the word ‘nihon’. Nihon is Japanese for Japan and is named after the Japanese researchers who discovered it.
Moscovium (is quite obviously) named after Moscow by the Russian scientists who discovered it.
Tennessine is named after the American discoverers home state.
Oganesson has been named after the Russian nuclear physicist Yuri Oganessian.
Professor Jan Reedijk and IUPAC has said this about the confirmation of the new elements:
“The new elements were only confirmed after a careful verification of the discoveries and priorities". "The chemistry community is eager to see its most cherished table finally being completed down to the seventh row."
Will we see any more elements discovered in the future? Maybe, maybe not. But Japanese scientists are already planning to explore the possibilities of element 119 and beyond …