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article imageNew element to be added to the Periodic Table

By Julian Worker     Jun 12, 2009 in Science
Element 112, or Ununbium, will soon be renamed. Only four atoms of this element have ever been created and it's taken 13 years for the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) to accept there is sufficient evidence of its existence.
It can take a long time for a newly discovered element to be included in the Periodic Table. Take the case of Ununbium or Element 112, one of the super heavy elements -- the 112 refers to the number of protons in its nucleus.
As the Guardian reports, The element was first discovered by Sigurd Hofmann and his team at the Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany, on February 9, 1996. It was created in a heavy ion accelerator by firing zinc-70 nuclei at a target made from lead-208 nuclei. A single atom of Ununbium was produced with a mass number of 277. In May 2000, the experiment was successfully repeated to produce another atom. In 2002, a research team at the RIKEN Discovery Research Institute in Japan produced a further two atoms.
However, these four atoms were not enough to convince a Joint Working Party (JWP) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) who decided that there was insufficient evidence to support the claim for having discovered Ununbium.
So the team at Darmstadt had to do some further research into decay data relating to certain nuclei involved in the experiment. This data was presented to the JWP who also took into account the data provided by RIKEN. On June 11, 2009, IUPAC confirmed the discovery and so Ununbium will be added to the Periodic Table, once Hofmann and his team choose a name for the element to replace the word Ununbium, which was a temporary IUPAC name given when the element’s possible existence came to light.
Scientists at the Centre for Heavy Ion Research have an outstanding history of discovering new elements. Since 1981, they’ve been the first in the world to make elements 107 to 112. The names they’ve chosen so far are as follows: Element 107 is called bohrium, element 108 is hassium (derived from the Latin name for Hesse, the state where Darmstadt is located), element 109 is meitnerium (in honour of the Austrian physicist Lise Meitner), element is 110 darmstadtium, and element 111 is roentgenium.
More about Element 112, Darmstadt, Germany, Periodic table, Sigurd hofmann
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