After three years of review, two new elements finally added to the Periodic Table

Jun 07, 2011 by Bob Yirka report

(PhysOrg.com) -- After three years of review, a committee representing the governing bodies of both chemistry and physics, has published a paper on Pure and Applied Chemistry, accepting the work of a collaborative team of physicists as proof of the creation of element 114 and element 116, finally allowing them both to be added to the official Periodic Table of Elements.

The two as yet unnamed new elements, currently going by ununquadium and ununhexium, are now the two heaviest elements on the table (289 and 292 atomic mass, respectively) and both are highly radioactive.

114 had several groups which claimed to have produced it in a lab, but just two teams had sufficient evidence for the examining committee to give approval; the Joint Institute for (JINR) in Dubna, Russia and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. The two groups collaborated on the project and both groups were also credited with offering proof of the existence of 116 as well.

The new elements came about as the result of hurtling lighter atoms together in an accelerator. To forge 116, they threw curium (96 ) and calcium (20 protons) together, which shortly thereafter decayed to 114. But they also made 114 by knocking calcium and plutonium together.

Properties of the new elements, such as how they might react with other elements, have yet to be discovered however, as both last less than a second before decaying away to other elements.

Both new elements have actually been known to exist for quite some time; as far back as 1999 different groups were said to have produced it in a lab, and most of the work done by the collaborating teams was done back in 2004 and 2006.

The two latest additions to the ignite new blather about the possible existence of a so-called “island of stability” where chemists and physicists debate the possibility of much heavier eventually joining the table; ones that will be extremely stable, and thus ripe for use right out of the box.

Traditionally the folks that produce a new element are the ones that get to name it, so for 114 and 116, that will be the next step; likely something Russian, since the Russian team gets most of the credit, and as far as the approval committee goes, it’s likely to be a smooth process, so long as, according to one committee member, “it’s not something too weird.”

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More information: IUPAC announcement: www.iupac.org/web/nt/2011-06-01_elements_114_116

Discovery of the elements with atomic numbers greater than or equal to 113 (IUPAC Technical Report), Pure Appl. Chem., ASAP article, doi:10.1351/PAC-REP-10-05-01

Abstract
The IUPAC/IUPAP Joint Working Party (JWP) on the priority of claims to the discovery of new elements 113–116 and 118 has reviewed the relevant literature pertaining to several claims. In accordance with the criteria for the discovery of elements previously established by the 1992 IUPAC/IUPAP Transfermium Working Group (TWG), and reinforced in subsequent IUPAC/IUPAP JWP discussions, it was determined that the Dubna-Livermore collaborations share in the fulfillment of those criteria both for elements Z = 114 and 116. A synopsis of experiments and related efforts is presented.

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User comments : 12

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CSharpner
5 / 5 (4) Jun 07, 2011
How about Naquadah and Naquadria? :)
Ramael
not rated yet Jun 07, 2011
oooh, an island of stability, that's exciting. If stable, I wonder what applications they'll have.
Ramael
5 / 5 (1) Jun 07, 2011
haha, Naquadah. Elements so dense they warp space. :S
LivaN
5 / 5 (2) Jun 07, 2011
How about Naquadah and Naquadria? :)

haha, Naquadah. Elements so dense they warp space. :S

Indeed.
Bonkers
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 07, 2011
But? - erm, all elements warp space, don't they.
d_robison
not rated yet Jun 07, 2011
But? - erm, all elements warp space, don't they.


Anything with mass warps space. I think they meant, "Elements so dense that they warp space noticeably." Either way it was a joke.
Yellowdart
3.9 / 5 (7) Jun 07, 2011
Still no Chucknorisium? :\
El_Nose
not rated yet Jun 07, 2011
i remember a book called "Yamato:A rage in heaven" about a black hole gun that used a superheavy conpletely stable element -- it was like element 236 or something rediculously high that occured in nature on rare planets -- it was pretty entertaining

oh and did you notice the usage of blather when describing the island of stability -- i laughed
Heepster
5 / 5 (2) Jun 07, 2011
"Traditionally the folks that produce a new element are the ones that get to name it, so for 114 and 116, that will be the next step; likely something Russian, since the Russian team gets most of the credit, and as far as the approval committee goes, its likely to be a smooth process, so long as, according to one committee member, its not something too weird."

I take it they wouldn't accept "Stalinium"...
frajo
5 / 5 (3) Jun 07, 2011
I take it they wouldn't accept "Stalinium"...
Of course not as Stalin means steely. It was only an honorable name for Iossif Wissarionowitsch Dschugaschwili who was born in a region known today as Georgia, the country.
Dubna, however, is situated in Russia, near Moscow. To assume that members of the international research center Dubna would prefer the honorable name of a not very well educated person from Georgia is more fanciful than assuming that the Livermore team would propose the name "Bushium".
SemiNerd
not rated yet Jun 07, 2011
oooh, an island of stability, that's exciting. If stable, I wonder what applications they'll have.

The so-called island of stability is very unlikely to be reachable using current technology. The reason is that the isotopes of 116 that lie at the center of this region are much more neutron rich then the isotopes so far produced. We would need such a neutron rich isotope of calcium (or neutron rich isotope of plutonium) that they would have impossibly short lifetimes, not to mention the difficulty of producing them.
antialias
not rated yet Jun 08, 2011
An 'island of stability' is also relative. Meaning that we're dealing with half lives of minutes or days here at best - not completely stable elements. (As opposed to micro/milliseconds for the elements either side of the 'island')

So don't expect any machines being built using such 'stable' transuranic elements. Also the number of atoms needed to build anything sizeable (e.g. a microstructure) far exceeds the number of atoms being produced.

The energy usage to produce any significant amount of such atoms would be exorbitant (read: probably on the order of the earth's total energy consumption to produce enough to create even the tiniest microstructure). So don't get your hopes up.

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