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FOUR NEW ELEMENTS ADDED TO PERIODIC TABLE

INTELLECT DESK
FOUR NEW ELEMENTS ADDED TO PERIODIC TABLE

The already backdated textbooks of Bangladesh has been set back by four more elements on the periodic table last year (2015) on the 30th of December, with International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry's (IUPAC) announcement of the event. 

This event was special primarily for two reasons –
Firstly, as many as four elements are being introduced to the periodic table at once for the first time. 
Secondly, the 7th row of the periodic table has finally been completed with all elements between Hydrogen (1) and Element 118 been discovered and officially approved. 

IUPAC appointed five independent scientists back in 2012 to test claims for the discovery of four elements with atomic numbers of 113, 115, 117 and 118. Last week, it approved all four claims. Discovery of element-113 is accredited to a team from the Riken institute of Japan, while the rest were given to a joint team of American and Russian scientists. These scientists now have naming rights for the new elements which have been given temporary positional names by IUPAC. 

Elements having atomic numbers higher than 104 are called super-heavy elements. While most super heavy elements do not exist in nature in free-state due to very short half lives and subsequent decomposition, scientists are claiming that the recently discovered elements have distinctly longer half lives. This makes them somewhat stable, which is why the discovery is raising hopes that scientists will soon discover the “Island of Stability” – a group of stable super-heavy elements. 

The idea of this “Island of Stability” comes from the Quantum theory which states that it may be possible to create extremely heavy elements — with more than 120 protons — that are also very stable (meaning they would resist decay). Potential properties of this group of elements are not known yet but scientists are optimistic that one day they might discover a very heavy yet very useful element. This also explains why scientists have been spending so much time and energy behind the discovery of such short-lived elements.  

These 4 elements are the first to have been added to the periodic table since 2011. Although the existence of 113 was first found in 2004, it took the scientists 8 years to conclusively prove it in 2012.  Dr Kosuke Morita, the lead scientist in the Riken team, said it has now planned to “look to the uncharted territory of element 119 and beyond”.

Cover Image: Photograph of Periodic Table Cupcakes, Chemical Heritage Foundation [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

January 09, 2016
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