The Periodic Table Has 4 Brand New Elements

"To scientists, this is of greater value than an Olympic gold medal."

04/01/2016 9:04 PM AEDT | Updated 07/01/2016 2:19 AM AEDT
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Kosuke Morita, the leader of the RIKEN team, poses with a board displaying the new atomic element 113

Four new elements have been added to the periodic table, making science textbooks across the world out of date.

The elements were verified and added by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) last week, making the scientific chart's seventh row officially complete. 

The inclusion of the super-heavy man-made chemical elements temporarily named 113, 115, 117 and 118 are the first additions to the table since 2011, according to a statement from IUPAC.

"To scientists, this is of greater value than an Olympic gold medal," Ryoji Noyori, Nobel laureate in chemistry, told the Guardian.

"The chemistry community is eager to see its most cherished table finally being completed down to the seventh row," added professor Jan Reedijk, president of IUPAC's inorganic chemistry division.

Credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI via Getty Images
Kosuke Morita, the leader of the RIKEN team, smiles as he points to a board displaying the new atomic element 113.

Element 113 was discovered by the RIKEN institute in Japan. It's working name is ununtrium and symbol is Uut. 

Elements 115 and 117 were discovered by scientists from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Their working names and symbols are ununpentium and Uup for 115, and ununseptium and Uus for 117. 

Element 118 was discovered by the teams from Dubna and California, and is currently named ununoctium, with the symbol Uuo.

The discoverers of the elements can suggest permanent names and symbols over the next few months, according to a statement from IUPAC. The new monikers must relate to mythological concepts, minerals, places, countries, properties or scientists.

Element 113 will be the first one ever to be named by researchers in Asia, reported The Verge.

The elements were created by smashing lighter nuclei into each other and then, according to the Independent, analyzing the radioactive decay which existed for a tiny fraction of a second afterwards.

Kosuke Morita, who led the RIKEN group, said in a statement that the official recognition of the element was the result of "nearly a decade of painstaking work." The work to discover other elements that are both super-heavy and stable will continue.

"Now that we have conclusively demonstrated the existence of element 113, we plan to look to the uncharted territory of element 119 and beyond, aiming to examine the chemical properties of the elements in the seventh and eighth rows of the periodic table, and someday to discover the island of stability," Kosuke said.

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