Four New Elements Added to the Periodic Table

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Credit IUPAC

Credit: IUPAC

Time for science textbooks to get an update. For anyone who memorized the Periodic Table of Elements, it’s time to learn it anew.

For the first time since 2011, four new elements have been added to the Periodic Table. The new elements were discovered by scientists in Russia, America, and Japan. Considered “superheavy,” the classification of elements with more than 104 protons, these four new ones complete the seventh row of the Periodic Table.

Credit IUPAC

Credit: IUPAC

Elements 113, 115, 117, and 118 are so new they don’t even have official names yet. The US-based International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), the organization that governs chemical nomenclature, terminology, and measurement, verified the existence of the new elements on December 30.

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The teams that discovered the new elements have been asked to submit names. According to IUPAC, elements “can be named after a mythological concept, a mineral, a place or country, a property or a scientist.”

The new elements were actually made using particle accelerators that shoot beams of nuclei at other heavier, target nuclei. They then track the decay. Scientists are now turning their sights to the elusive eighth row of the Periodic Table, which so far exists only in theory.

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