There are four new super heavy elements with official names and symbols on the periodic table, according to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.
It took five months of review, but IUPAC chemists have finally approved names for elements 113, 115, 117 and 118, as proposed by their discoverers, Live Science reports. Super heavy elements don’t occur naturally, and are created in labs. Their atomic numbers indicate how many protons are in each nucleus.
Traditionally, the names of elements honor a scientist or geographic location, with the endings abiding by protocols according to each element’s placement on the periodic table of elements.
These new ones are: Nihonium (Nh), Moscovium (Mc), Tennessine (Ts), Oganesson (Og).
It was announced in January that the IUPAC would include new elements on the table, but they remained nameless until now. The five-month wait was intended to give the public a chance to make suggestions or raise any issues, as these names would be used around the world.
The names made it through the review without any problems, and generated plenty of interest. “Overall, it was a real pleasure to realize that so many people are interested in the naming of the new elements, including high-school students, making essays about possible names and telling how proud they were to have been able to participate in the discussions,” Jan Reedijk, the IUPAC’s president of Inorganic Chemistry, said.
It is a long process from initial discovery to the final naming, and IUPAC is thankful for the cooperation of everyone involved. For now, we can all cherish our periodic table completed down to the seventh row.
The name for Element 113, Nihonium, was proposed by Japanese scientists, as the term is another way to say “Japan” in Japanese. The element was discovered by Kosuke Morita and a team at Japan’s RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science.
Elements 115 and 117 were named by scientists at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California – they come from “Moscow” and “Tennessee.”
The name for Element 118 honors Yuri Oganessian “for his pioneering contributions to transactinide elements research,” according to the IUPAC. “His many achievements include the discovery of super-heavy elements and significant advances in the nuclear physics of super-heavy nuclei, including experimental evidence for the ‘island of stability.”