4 New Super-Heavy Elements Given Official Names and Put on the Periodic Table

Kyushu University professor Kosuke Morita, head of a team of scientists who discovered element 113, points to the superheavy synthetic element on a periodic table at a news conference at the RIKEN institute's research centre in Wako, Saitama Prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo on June 9, 2016. (Kyodo/via REUTERS)
Kyushu University professor Kosuke Morita, head of a team of scientists who discovered element 113, points to the superheavy synthetic element on a periodic table at a news conference at the RIKEN institute’s research centre in Wako, Saitama Prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo on June 9, 2016. (Kyodo/via REUTERS)

Ununtrium, ununpentium, ununseptium, and ununoctium — these were the temporary names given to four new super-heavy elements by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) back in December. Now, a year later, these elements have been bestowed official names and have earned their spots in the periodic table.

Earlier this week, the IUPAC — the organization in charge of naming and categorizing elements, among other things — revealed the official names of the four elements — nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts), and oganesson (Og).

The four elements, which have atomic numbers of 113, 115, 117 and 118, respectively, do not occur naturally and were created in labs. Once created, the nuclei of these super-heavy elements quickly break down into lighter ones.

The name nihonium was derived from the Japanese word “Nihon,” which means Japan. This name was chosen to recognize the contribution of scientists from Japan’s RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science, where the element was created. Similarly, moscovium and tennessine derive their names from the city of Moscow and the U.S. state of Tennessee — both of them regions where scientists involved in their discovery hailed from.

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SOURCE: International Business Times, Avaneesh Pandey