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Physical Chemistry

New Elements Make It To The Periodic Table

Elements 114 and 116 are now officially on the periodic table after an international committee gives its stamp of approval

by Elizabeth K. Wilson
June 13, 2011 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 89, Issue 24

Elements 114 and 116 are officially on the periodic table after an International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry-International Union of Pure & Applied Physics joint committee gave the elements stamps of approval (Pure Appl. Chem., DOI: 10.1351/pac-rep-10-05-01). The committee also assessed claims of the discoveries of elements 113, 115, and 118, but found them inconclusive. A year ago, IUPAC officially recognized element 112, which was named copernicium. Element 114 was first reported in 1999 by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research , in Dubna, Russia. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reported independent confirmation of 114 in 2009. Element 116’s discovery has had a rockier history. In 1999, the LBNL group announced the discovery of elements 116 and 118, but later retracted its paper after one of the team members was found to have falsified data. In 2000, however, researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory reported sighting 116. In 2004 and 2006, collaborative LLNL-JINR teams observed 116 three times, enough to convince the committee.


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