Nihonium makes its way into The Periodic Table with 3 other Elements

A day after “nihonium” was announced as the name of atomic element 113, the physicist who led the discovery team said the name was chosen to thank Japanese people for their support

Kosuke Morita of Riken points to 'nihonium'. Image courtesy:
  • Four new elements were discovered late last year, in 2015 and have been approved by IUPAC
  • Nihonium is the first element to be discovered in an Asian country
  • The discoverers are provided with an option to name the elements, which is then approved by the IUPAC

It’s time to update the periodic table once again. Scientists all over the world have discovered four new elements in the past year, 2015, all of them being super heavy and radioactive. Their names pend approval by International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, the panel of international scientists responsible for the table.

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Currently, the names of the new elements to be introduced into the periodic table are as follows:

  • Nihonium and symbol Nh, for the element 113
  • Moscovium and symbol Mc, for the element 115
  • Tennessine and symbol Ts, for the element 11
  • Oganesson and symbol Og, for the element 118

These names will be be open to public comments and suggestions for a period of five months after which the they will be finalized in early November this year, in 2016.

Periodic table
The Periodic Table. Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons

The new elements were actually incorporated into the periodic table late last year in 2015 and given these temporary and unremarkable names: ununtrium, ununpentium, ununseptium and ununoctoium.

The IUPAC lets the discoverers choose names of their choice, but they should fall under one of the five categories: they should be based on a mineral or substance, a property of the element, a mythological concept or character, a place or geographic region, or a scientist.

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Moscovium was proposed at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, which is around Moscow. On similar lines, the name Tennessine was to identify scientific contributions from Tennessee, home to the Vanderbilt University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Similarly, Nihonium was discovered by scientists at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science in Japan. It is the first element to be discovered in an Asian country. Nihon is one of two ways to say “Japan” in Japanese.

Oganesson was named to honor the Russian physicist Yuri Oganessian, who did wonders in discovering superheavy elements. Oganessian is the second scientist to have an element named after him while still alive, the first being Nobel-winning Glenn Seaborg, who discovered plutonium among other things. The element was jointly discovered by collaborating teams of Russians in the city of Dubna and Americans at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

-by Saurabh Bodas, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @saurabhbodas96