Four new periodic table elements have entered the official list. The world chemistry organization validated their discovery in December, and now each element must be properly named.
Traditionally, chemical elements are named after scientists that discovered them, mythology elements or even places. In the US, the first state to get a chemical name was California. The second was Tennessee.
Some examples of what this incredible quest for names led to are americium, titanium, and einsteinium, all proofs of inspiration and creativity.
The periodic table consists of chemical elements ordered by their electron configurations, atomic numbers, and chemical properties. Created by Mendeleev in 1869, the table has been periodically revised by scientists.
The first 94 elements contained in the table exist naturally. The others were created in laboratories, as scientists wanted to synthesize elements with higher atomic numbers.
The new items that were validated at the end of last year were created artificially in labs all over the world, and they are actual evidence of how researchers successfully explored the limits of the matter.
“We are excited about these new elements, and we thank the dedicated scientists who discovered them for their painstaking work, as well the members of the Iupac/Iupap joint working party for completing their essential and critically important task,” said Dr. Marc Cesa, the president of the International Union of Pure and Applied Psyhics.
Element 113 was the first chemical to be discovered by Japan, and therefore, it was named nihonium and will have the symbol Nh. The research project was financed through a governmental funding, and the team of scientists named the element after their country, as Japan is also called Nihon.
Element 115 was named moscovium, and element 117 was named tennessine, after the location of the scientific laboratories that discovered them. The element 115 has the symbol Mc, and the element 117 has the symbol Ts.
These new unique chemicals were brought to light by the collaboration of the Dubna Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia, the Californian Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
Element 118 was named oganesson after Yuri Oganessian, the Russian physicist that worked on its discovery. The element’s symbol is Og.
A chemical element is an atom that has the same number of protons. So far, 118 items have been either discovered or created in laboratories. They represent the constituents of the ordinary matter in our Universe, while dark matter is supposed to have a different, but unknown, composition.
Scientists do not know what would be the last number in the periodic table, but everyone agrees that the number of chemical elements will need to have an end. The current theories on the structure of atoms and the stability of the nucleus strongly indicate to a limited number of unique chemical elements.
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