Last week four synthetic super-heavy elements were added to the periodic table. The international group that makes this decision, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), confirmed the additions of Ununtrium, Ununpentium, Ununseptium and Ununoctium. The new elements will be located on the seventh period of the periodic table according to their atomic numbers Uut-113, Uup-115, Uus-117 and Uuo-118.
The current names of these new elements are only temporary. As reported by The Guardian, the process for giving the new elements names has been initiated by the IUPAC. New elements can be named after a mythology, a property, a mineral or a person. Creating a new element requires a large amount of computational power, power that very few labs in the world are equipped to handle. The Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California claim the discovery of 115, 117 and 118. The Riken Institute in Japan claimed the discovery of 113.
Scientists used a particle accelerator to create these for new super-heavy elements by forcing two nuclei of other lighter elements together. After doing so, they observed how these new elements radioactively decayed. The new elements only exist for very short periods of time (parts of a second) and eventually decay, or separate, into different elements. As stated in the Los Angeles Times creating a new element takes months of planning and about 10 quintillion attempts. It only takes one successful attempt to count.
Uut-113 will be the first element to ever have been created in Asia.
According to Science Magazine, the heaviest element 118 was claimed to have been created in 1999, but the results were manufactured. Uut-113 will be the first element to ever have been created in Asia.
The Los Angeles Times explains that scientists and researchers will continue to create elements until it is impossible. Right now, all eyes are on the creation of element 119.