The seventh row of the periodic table got filled as four novel elements with atomic numbers 113, 115, 117 and 118 entered the field of chemistry.
Four super heavy elements have been added to the periodic table. They were discovered by Russian, American and Japanese scientists.
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Now that the seventh row has been filled, the textbooks that are currently being used in the world’s classrooms and lecture halls have been rendered obsolete.
Since four years ago, this is the first time that new chemical elements have been added to the periodic table.
In 2011, elements 114 and 116 were added to the series. However, these latest four have been fitted in at the last moment on the occasion of New Year’s Eve.
IUPAC, the official group that is responsible for chemical nomenclature, confirmed the fact. A Russian-American posse of researchers had discovered the elements 115, 117 and 118.
As if this were not enough, another element, 113 was attributed to the clever minds of the Japanese. Beyond this lies no-man’s land. It is terra incognita for chemists and literally the unknown. Element 119 is what lies ahead.
To many of the admirers of science and the scientific method, this sort of invention and discovery is worthier than an Olympic Gold Medal. It is a miracle of modern science and technology.
Element 113 which was discovered thanks to the contributions made by Japan, will be the first element to be named in Asia. Chemists everywhere are pretty excited to see the periodic table filled competely till the seventh slot.
IUPAC has begun the lengthy process of naming and labeling these novel elements that are a source of excitement and exhilaration.
113 is Ununtrium and abbreviated as Uut. 115 is Ununpentium and abbreviated as Uup. 117 is Ununseptium and abbreviated as Uus. And finally 119 is Ununoctium and its abbreviation is Uuo.
The newer elements that keep turning up time after time are usually named after a mythical figure, a mineral, a site, a nation, a feature or the good name of a researcher. The current four new elements are made by man.
They were created by smashing light nuclei into each other and this resulted in radioactive tracks left behind by these super heavy elements.
These elements are indeed of the extremely rare sort and often exist for only nanoseconds before melting away into thin air. Such is their instability that they do not last long enough to be detected by an ordinary person.
"A particular difficulty in establishing these new elements is that they decay into hitherto unknown isotopes of slightly lighter elements that also need to be unequivocally identified” commented JWP chair Professor Paul J. Karol, “but in the future we hope to improve methods that can directly measure the atomic number, Z".
"The chemistry community is eager to see its most cherished table finally being completed down to the seventh row. IUPAC has now initiated the process of formalizing names and symbols for these elements temporarily named as ununtrium, (Uut or element 113), ununpentium (Uup, element 115), ununseptium (Uus, element 117), and ununoctium (Uuo, element 118)" said Professor Jan Reedijk, President of the Inorganic Chemistry Division of IUPAC.
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"As the global organization that provides objective scientific expertise and develops the essential tools for the application and communication of chemical knowledge for the benefit of humankind, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry is pleased and honored to make this announcement concerning elements 113, 115, 117, and 118 and the completion of the seventh row of the periodic table of the elements," said IUPAC President Dr. Mark C. Cesa, adding that, "we are excited about these new elements, and we thank the dedicated scientists who discovered them for their painstaking work, as well the members of the IUPAC/IUPAP Joint Working Party for completing their essential and critically important task."