4 new elements added to periodic table!

Any chemists dream come true! Through a collaborative effort from Russia, USA, and Japan, 4 new elements have been officially recognized by IUPAC and added to the bottom row of the periodic table of the elements. They are “superheavy” elements with atomic numbers 113, 115, 116, and 117. From NPR:

For now, they’re known by working names, like ununseptium and ununtrium — two of the four new chemical elements whose discovery has been officially verified. The elements with atomic numbers 113, 115, 117 and 118 will get permanent names soon, according to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

With the discoveries now confirmed, “The 7th period of the periodic table of elements is complete,” according to the IUPAC. The additions come nearly five years after elements 114 (flerovium, or Fl) and element 116 (livermorium or Lv) were added to the table.

The elements were discovered in recent years by researchers in Japan, Russia and the United States. Element 113 was discovered by a group at the Riken Institute, which calls it “the first element on the periodic table found in Asia.”

Three other elements were discovered by a collaborative effort among the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. That collaboration has now discovered six new elements, including two that also involved the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

Classified as “superheavy” — the designation given to elements with more than 104 protons — the new elements were created by using particle accelerators to shoot beams of nuclei at other, heavier, target nuclei.

The new elements’ existence was confirmed by further experiments that reproduced them — however briefly. Element 113, for instance, exists for less than a thousandth of a second.

The seventh period of the periodic chart is now complete, thanks to the addition of four new elements.

The seventh period of the periodic chart is now complete, thanks to the addition of four new elements.

IUPAC

“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,” said Paul Karol, chair of the IUPAC’s Joint Working Party, announcing the new elements. The working group includes members of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.

The elements’ temporary names stem from their spot on the periodic table — for instance, ununseptium has 117 protons. Each of the discovering teams have now been asked to submit names for the new elements.

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Check it out! Video of Japanese volcano Mt. Shindake erupting!

Last week, Japanese volcano Mt. Shindake blew its top, and there’s some amazing footage of the eruption!

https://embed.theguardian.com/embed/video/world/video/2015/may/29/mount-shindake-volcano-japan-erupts-no-warning-island-evacuated-video

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Weekend eruption of Japanese volcano Ontake kills hikers… why was there no warning? #science

ontake

This past Saturday there was an unexpected eruption of Japan’s Ontake volcano. Below is a video of some first hand footage of the eruption. As usual, Erik Klemetti writing for Eruptions blog at Wired.com has the 411 on the eruption and why no one saw it coming.

Based on what I’ve read and seen (and this is speculation on my part), this eruption may have been a steam-driven explosion known as a “phreatic” eruption. The Japanese Meteorological Agency suggested that even compared to a smaller eruption in 2007, this explosion had almost no warning. This occurs when water seeps into the cracks in the crater area of a volcano and gets hot enough to flash to steam. This rapid boiling causes fracturing of the rock and explosively ejects material out of the crater as the pressure inside the crater or conduit goes up exponentially.

… Now, with a phreatic eruption, a lot of the common monitoring methods just don’t work.

Klemetti reminds readers that there is no way to predict most volcanic eruptions, and thus not to blame volcanologists or the hikers for being there. Below are Klemetti’s tips for hikers who are planning a volcano hike, more detail at Eruptions blog:

How do you prepare yourself if you’re hiking in volcanic terranes? Here are a few tips:

  1. Get to know your volcano.
  2. Be prepared.
  3. Be doubly prepared.
  4. Let people know where you are.
  5. Understand the risk.

Mount Ontake, a volcano straddling Nagano and Gifu prefectures, erupted around 11:53 a.m. Saturday, leaving several hikers injured and stranded in mountain trails.

Japan kills 30 Minke whales #notscience #notresearch

Japan has slaughtered thirty minke whales in its first annual hunt of the season, this despite an International Court Justice (ICJ) ruling earlier this year that ordered a halt of its expedition in the Antarctic.

Prime Minister Abe said that he “aimed for the resumption of commercial whaling by conducting whaling research in order to obtain scientific data indispensable for the management of whale resources.”

Joan Reddy reports for ecorazzi.com on the japanese ‘research’ mission that involves killing whales in the name of science…. ugh. Anything that can be learned about whale resources should be done in a non-lethal manner. Ecology.