Scientists officially announced they added four new synthetic elements to the periodic table Wednesday.
Following five months of review, the names proposed by the discoverers have been approved by the the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). The new elements will be added into the table’s seventh row and will be called nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts), and oganesson (Og).
“Keeping with tradition, the newly discovered elements have been named after a place or geographical region, or a scientist,” IUPAC announced. “The ending of the names also reflects and maintains historical and chemical consistency: ‘-ium’ for elements 113 and 115 and as for all new elements of groups 1 to 16, ‘-ine’ for element 117 and belonging to group 17 and ‘-on’ for element 118 element belonging to group 18.”
The periodic table arranges chemical elements in the order of their number of protons in the nucleus of their atoms, starting with single proton hydrogen and ending with oganesson, with 118 protons.
Some elements, such as hydrogen, carbon or magnesium are naturally occurring. Every one of the new elements was synthesized in laboratories. All the discovered elements after 104 are synthetic ones produced through laboratory experiments.
Nihonium, the new element number 113, is a highly radioactive element with an extremely short half-life, and was discovered by a Japanese research team. The element’s name comes from “nihon,” which literally means “the land of the rising sun” and is an alternative term for Japan.
Moscovium, Tennessine, and Oganesson were all created by a joint Russian and American team. Moscovium honors the Russian capital city of Moscow and Tennessine is named after the state of Tennessee, which is where much of the research involved occured. Oganesson is named after 83-year-old Russian physicist Yuri Oganessian.
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