Four elements added to periodic table

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Scientists have now officially added four new elements to the periodic table, completing the discovery of all elements through 118.

All of the elements were created in the lab, by smashing lighter atomic nuclei together. The unstable agglomerations of protons and neutrons last mere fractions of a second before they fall apart into smaller, more stable fragments.

The teams that have been given credit for the discoveries can now put forward proposals for the elements’ names and two-letter symbols. Elements can be named after one of their chemical or physical properties, a mythological concept, a mineral, a place or country, or a scientist. Priority for discovering element 113 went to researchers in Japan, who are particularly delighted because it will become the first artificial element to be named in East Asia. When the element was first sighted 12 years ago, ‘Japonium’ was suggested as a name.

While creating element 119 is believed possible, beyond that it is thought unlikely that anything heavier can be produced in the lab.



  • Ted

    Lifted a partial quote … ” beyond that it is thought unlikely that anything heavier can be produced ”

    Anything that comes out of Washington – ACA, budgets, etc etc. Remember if their lips are moving they are lying.

  • pzatchok

    I hope they find or make a stable unobtanium someday.
    At least in the Avatar movie sense.

  • When I was a child learning the periodic table, it seemed to me that an ‘element’ by definition should be stable. Of what use is a substance that can’t be used? These are interesting experiments, but perhaps not useful ones.

  • Steve

    Agreed, what use is an element that can’t exist in the “real world”? Is it really an element in the traditional sense?

    Maybe it’s time to have 2 periodic tables, one for natural elements that can exist outside of super-colliders and black holes and also persist long enough to do something useful with. And another for all elements possible under any circumstances or environment.

  • Edward

    Pzatchok wrote: “I hope they find or make a stable unobtanium someday.”

    Maybe they will name one of these new elements unobtanium. They don’t last long enough to be obtainable/usable by today’s engineers; creating them may only be useful to assist us in understanding and updating our Standard Model of particle physics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *