Now chemistry students will need to update their information on periodic table as the official Periodic Table of the Elements is going to add a new member in the elements family.
An international team of scientists has confirmed the existence of a new super-heavy element, element 117, named ununseptium- chemical symbol Uus.
The scientists in Germany have created the heaviest ever known element, making it a step closer to become an official member of the periodic table.
72 scientists and engineers from over 16 institutions across the world have clubbed hands to confirm the existence of element 117.
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) will now examine the new data and analyse whether it provides sufficient evidence to existence of the element 117. IUPAC will then determine which institution will be able to name the new element. The approval will give the element 117 a proper name—”ununseptium” is just a place holder, derived from the Latin for “one one seven.”
The metal first reported by a team of Russian and American scientists in 2010 is an atom with 117 protons in its nucleus which was missing on the periodic table of elements. These super-heavy elements, which include all the elements beyond atomic number 104, are not found naturally on Earth, and thus have to be created synthetically within a laboratory.
Andrei Popeko, a senior official at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, outside Moscow, said that it could take up to a year before it can be given a new name.
Super-heavy elements, which include all the elements beyond atomic number 104, on the periodic table, aren’t observed in nature. They can only be created synthetically by blasting two different types of nuclei at each other in a particle accelerator. Uranium, which has 92 protons, is the heaviest natural occurring element in nature, but heavier elements can artificially be created by adding protons into an atomic nucleus through nuclear fusion reactions.
The team, working at GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, an accelerator laboratory located in Darmstadt, Germany, observed the creation of four atoms of element 117, though they decayed into other elements within milliseconds.
“This is of paramount importance as even longer-lived isotopes are predicted to exist in a region of enhanced nuclear stability,” explains Professor Christoph Düllmann, who led the study.
The paper for this experiment has been published in Physical Review Letters.