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Business, STEM

It’s Official: Names Approved for Four New Periodic Table Elements


News of the official name adoption of four new periodic table elements may be more stimulating to me than to my readers given my background in STEM, chemistry, and chemical engineering. Perhaps I had become so accustomed to seeing the uncompleted seventh row of the periodic table, that it now seems odd that it has been filled in.

These additions to the periodic table will definitely have a global impact in the years to come. While the development or synthesis of four new periodic table elements has been years in the making, the proposed names for these new discoveries has taken less time.

About six months ago, the scientists behind the discovery of these new elements sent their suggested names to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) for approval.

So here they are:

Element 113 – Nihonium (Nh)

Element 115 – Moscovium (Mc)

Element 117 – Tennessine (Ts)

Element 118 – Oganesson (Og)

And here’s some info on the origins of these names [Ref 1]:

  • Japanese researchers proposed Nihonium, symbol Nh, for element 113 after the Japanese word Nihon, which means Japan.
  • A team consisting of scientists from Russia and the United States named element 115, symbol Mc, after Moscow, and element 117, symbol Ts, after Tennessee.
  • Element 118 was named Oganesson, symbol Og, for Yuri Oganessian, a prolific element hunter, by the Russian team that discovered it.

The names on the above list of super-heavy, highly-reactive elements were formally approved by IUPAC on December 1st.

As shown in the above figure, the four new elements with their official names and symbols now complete the seventh row of the periodic table. Now that’s pop’in!

Source Cited:

  1. Four New Names Officially Added to the Periodic Table of Elements, by Nicholos St. Fleur, New York Times, December 1, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/01/science/periodic-table-new-elements.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_sc_20161206&nl=science-times&nl_art=5&nlid=58109710&ref=headline&te=1&_r=0 [Amended on 12.01.2015]

About Vi Brown

Vi is principal and CEO of Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC, an Arizona firm that provides business and engineering services to private and public clients. Prior to establishing her consulting practice in 2001, Vi worked with Motorola, Maricopa County Government, Pacific Gas & Electric, CH2M Hill, and Procter & Gamble. As an adjunct faculty member, Vi teaches undergraduate calculus classes and graduate level environmental courses. She is also a professional speaker.


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