New elements discovered

Four new elements have been discovered and added to the periodic table.

Elements 113, 115, 117, and 118 were discovered, completing the seventh row of the table, according to The Guardian.

They were manufactured by colliding light nuclei particles into one another and tracking the swiftly decaying elements, which have only limited stability and lifespan.

It follows on from the discovery of elements 114 and 116 in 2011, and were uncovered in Japan, Russia, and the US.

These new elements were verified just before the turn of the year, by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

Elements 115, 117, and 118 were uncovered by a joint US-Russian team, whilst 113 was found by a team of scientists from Japan’s Riken Institute.

The Japanese team found element 113  bybombarding a thin layer of bismuth with zinc ions travelling at about 10 per cent the speed of light, theoretically, seeing them occasionally fusing to form an atom of element 113.

Head of the Riken research team, Kosuke Morita, is now focusing on finding element 119.

"Now that we have conclusively demonstrated the existence of element 113,” Morita said, “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 [where elements with longer half-lives will be found]."

The elements will be named in the coming months, with 113 to be named first.

Until then they have temporarily been given the placeholder names ununtrium, (Uut or element 113), ununpentium (Uup, element 115), ununseptium (Uus, element 117), and ununoctium (Uuo, element 118).


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