Alut MM. Cmi'
Four new elements have been added to the periodic
table, finally filling out its seventh row, The
International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
IUPAC) has announced the changes in a statement
on December 30.
The new kids on the 113, 115. 11?,
and "superhiffy," a label given to elements
with more than 104 protons. Atoms with that many
protons are too unstable to exist in nature because
protons naturally repel one another. The four new
elements therefore don' t exist naturally.
Elements with very high atomic numbers have to be
created by smashing together two smaller atoms in
the hope that some of their protons stick together.
To create 1 1?," Scientific American explains, "the
researchers smashed calcium nuclei (with 20 protons
apiece) into a target of berkelium (9? protons per
atom)." But this is much murderthon it sounds.
Berkelium (named after Berkeley, California) is
extraordinarily rare; it took the team more than two
years to stockpile 13 milligrams of it forthe purpose
of the experiment.
Here' s an artist' s illustration of Element 11?:
Once created, element 117 almost instantaneously
decays and disappears. It has a half life (the amount
of time it takes for half a given amount of the element
to decay) of of a second.
Element 113 - created by bombarding bismuth with
zinc ions - is also fleeting: It decays in less than a
thousandth of a second.
The new elements will be named after a mythological
concept, a mineral, a place or country, a property, or a
scientist, and will be presented for public review for
five months before a final decision about the new
official name and symbol is made
A quick look at the new periodic table:
Schools will need to have new textbooks now.