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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5 geckos die during Russian space mission to study sexual behavior.

The Guardian reports that 5 geckos have died after being sent into space by Russia to study zero-gravity and sexual behavior. 

The federal space agency released a statement saying the landing apparatus of the Photon-M satellite had returned to earth as planned, falling into Russia’s Orenburg region at 1.18pm Moscow time, and that the entire herpetological crew had perished at some point during their odyssey. With four female lizards and one male on board, Russian scientists had hoped to learn how zero gravity would affect the sexual habits of geckos.

The space agency statement said simply that a “preliminary examination” found the geckos dead, and that “the date and conditions of their deaths will be determined by specialists”.

While this is sad news and there has been a number of recent incidents with the Russian Space agency, previous animal missions have been completed successfully.

Gerbils, newts, spiders, butterflies, snails and bacteria all successfully traversed the cosmos in 2007, when international scientists launched them from Russia for a set of 45 experiments.