Fri, 13 Dec, 2019

Four New Elements in the Periodic Table

By Raju Shrestha

Picture Courtesy: Ashmita Kunwar 

The international union of pure & applied chemistry (IUPAC) announced that four new elements have been permanently added to the periodic table, after their discoveries were verified by the global organization that oversees the periodic table.

The elements 113, 115, 117 & 118 completes the 7th row of periodic table but they don’t have permanent names & symbol. The four radioactive super-heavy elements are known by temporary names on the basis of no. of photons contained in its nucleus. So, the international union of pure & applied chemistry (IUPAC) has initiated the process of proposing the permanent names & symbols for these elements. Elements are given temporarily working named as ununtrium (Uut or element 113), ununpentium (Uup or element 115), ununseptium (Uuo or element 117) & ununoctium (Uuo or element 118).

 The discoverers from Japan, Russia & USA will now be invited to suggest the permanent names & symbols for those elements.

The RIKEN collaboration team of Japan have fulfill the criteria for the element 113 (temporary name ununtrium & symbol Uut) & will be invited to propose the permanent name & symbol.

For the element 115 & 117(temporary names & symbols ununpentium ,Uup; & ununseptium, Uus;) the collaboration between the joint institute of nuclear research in Dubna, Russia & Lawrence Livermore national laboratory, California ,USA;  & Oak Ridge Tennessee USA have fulfilled the criteria  & will be invited to propose the permanent names & symbols.

For next  element 118(temporary name ununoctium & symbol Uuo) the collaboration between the joint institute of nuclear research in Dubna, Russia & Lawrence Livermore national laboratory, California, USA, have fulfilled the criteria  & will be invited to propose the permanent name & symbol.

The proposed names & symbols are checked by the inorganic chemistry division of IUPAC for its consistency & translatability into other languages. The international rules allows them to be named after mythological concept, a mineral, a scientists or a place but the IUPAC council will make the final decision. The priorities for these elements are introduce simultaneously after the careful verification of discoveries & priorities. Several research paper published from 2004 to 2012 have been construed as sufficient to ratify the discovery & priority.

Three elements 115, 117 & 118 were first detected more than a decade ago by researchers at joint institute of nuclear research in Russia & the Lawrence Livermore national laboratory in California. The fourth element 113 was discovered in 2004 by Riken research institute in Japan which is the first element on the periodic table found in Asia.

A particular difficulty in establishing these new elements is that they decay into isotopes of slightly lighter elements which are very unstable  and  they also need to be identified.

There are couple of laboratories that have already taken shots at making elements 119 & 120 but there is no evidence of success yet. New elements were created by using particle accelerators to shoot beam of nuclei at other heavier target nuclei.