Four New Elements!

By: Dhan P.

IUPAC Officially Announces the Names of Four New Elements

In June of this year, IUPAC announced the unofficial names for elements 113, 115, 117, and 118. They were, in order, Nihonium (Nh), Moscovium (Mc), Tennessine (Ts), and Oganesson (Og). Now that the public inquiry period is over, the names are official! So let’s take a look at each of the new elements.

Nihonium

The element was first observed in 2003 at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, as part of a decay chain of Moscovium. The first actual synthesis occurred in 2004 at Japan’s RIKEN research facility. The name of the element comes from the name of Japan in Japanese, Nihon. The reaction used to make the new element is as follows:

209Bi + 70Zn 278Nh + 1n

Moscovium

The element was first observed in an experiment with American and Russian scientists at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in 2003. Moscovium was created by bombarding an Americium target with Calcium to create the element. The original 2003 experiment was not deemed to be conclusive proof of the discovery for IUPAC, so the experiment was repeated by scientists at Berkeley in California and the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Germany. In addition, it was observed as part of the decay chain for Tennessine. The reaction used to create the new element is as follows:

243Am + 48Ca 288Mc + 31n

The newly filled Periodic Table. The newly named elements are in red. (It’s so beautiful!)

Tennessine

This element was first created in 2009, with Berkelium from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and was actually created by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research. It was confirmed in 2014, by the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Germany. The element was named after the state of Tennessee, where the Oak Ridge laboratory is located. The reaction used to create the new element is as follows:

249Bk + 48Ca 297Ts 293Ts + 4 1n

Oganesson

The element was first reported to be discovered in 1999 at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, but it was discovered that the data was fabricated and the claim was retracted in 2002. The actual discovery was reported in 2006 by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, where it was confirmed by IUPAC in 2011. It is named after Yuri Oganessian, who helped discover many of the superheavy elements. This will be the second time an element is named after a person who is living at the time, the first being Seaborgium, named after Glenn Seaborg. The reaction used to create the element is as follows:

249Cf + 48Ca → 249Og + 3 1n

With all these new elements, the standard view of the periodic table is finally complete, but there are still more elements to discover. Elements 119 and beyond, here we come! Lettuce go forward, for SCIENCE!

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