Science students across the world have described the recent announcement of the inclusion of the four new elements added to the Periodic Table as shocking and unprecedented, adding that the development will render all chemistry textbook extinct.
Elements 113, 115, 117 and 118 have formally been recognized by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), which governs such decisions.
It’s the first time the table has been updated since 2011, when elements 114 (Flerovium) and 116 (Livermorium) were added. Devised by Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869, the table categorizes chemical elements according to their atomic number.
It took more than 100 scientists—distributed across four teams in three countries—to discover the four new elements, just added to the periodic table.
This discovery completes the periodic table’s seventh row, or period, and puts researchers closer to reaching chemistry’s most fabled destination.
“The chemistry community is eager to see its most cherished table finally being completed down to the seventh row,” said Jan Reedijk, president of the Inorganic Chemistry Division of IUPAC, in a statement.
“IUPAC has now initiated the process of formalizing names and symbols for these elements temporarily named as ununtrium, (Uut or element 113), ununpentium (Uup, element 115), ununseptium (Uus, element 117), and ununoctium (Uuo, element 118).”
All four elements are not found in nature, and were synthetically created in laboratories. Until now, these elements had temporary names and symbols on the periodic table as their existence was hard to prove.
In an event likely never to be repeated, four new super heavy elements were simultaneously added to the periodic table. To add four in one go is quite an achievement but the race to find more is ongoing.