The periodic table of elements that stared down from you in chemistry class isn’t a static historical document: It’s a work in progress. And recently, progress has been made in discovering four elements, which complete the seventh row.
Researchers with the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, along with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, have recently discovered elements 115 and117. The same team, minus Tennessee, identified element 118. Although the American/Russian team claimed to have found element 113, the governing body in charge of chemistry, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, awarded the discovery of the element to the RIKEN collaboration team in Japan.
According to the IUPAC, the elements’ current names are only temporary: ununtrium, (Uut or element 113), ununpentium (Uup, element 115), ununseptium (Uus, element 117) and ununoctium (Uuo, element 118). The teams who discovered the elements have the privilege of naming them. Element 113 will be the first one named by a team from Asia.
These elements were verified on Dec. 30. Prior to this, the most recent elements slotted into the periodic table were 114 and 116, back in 2011.
And now Tom Lehrer will have to come out of retirement to update his famed "Elements" song. Check it out.