Periodic Table Grows by 4 Elements

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January 10, 2016

The Periodic Table has grown by four elements, including the first to be named in Asia.

The Periodic Table, a representation of all of the known elements, now has 118 elements. The United States-based International Union of Purse and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) announced on December 30 that Elements 113, 115, 117 and 118 would be added to the Periodic Table's seventh row, completing that row. Those were the first elements to be added to the Periodic Table since 2011, when Elements 114 (flerovium) and 116 (livermorium) were added.

The Periodic Table, developed by Russian scientist Dmitri Mendeleev and first published in 1869, has seven rows (also called periods) and 18 columns, although not all 18 columns have seven rows' worth of elements in them. The number of an element refers to the number or protons in the nucleus of an atom. Elements are also shown in specific chemical groups.

The Japanese scientists from the Riken institute who discovered Element 113 will get to name the element. That will be the first time that an element on the Periodic Table has been named by scientists not in the U.S. or Europe.

IUPAC rules state that elements can be named after a scientist, a property, a place or country or a mythological concept. The temporary names assigned to the elements by the IUPAC are ununtrium (Uut) for 113, ununpentium (Uup) for 115, ununseptium (Uus) for 117 and Ununoctium (Uuo) for 118.

The newest elements showed up in trace elements of radioactive decay resulting from high-speed collisions of nuclei. The elements existed for fractions of seconds before winking out of existence.

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