Meet The Newest Element 117

May 11, 2014 By Radhika, Young Editor
Radhika's picture

When you look at the objects that surround you, it’s easy to forget that everything is made of atoms of various elements.

Every element, from the more common ones like Carbon and Oxygen to the more obscure ones like Promethium and Europium, has its own unique properties and cannot be broken down by chemical means.

Scientists have discovered 118 different elements—both naturally occurring and man-made. Because each element has its own set of properties, scientists created a table to organize them: the periodic table of elements.

The Periodic Table

The modern version of the periodic table was first developed by Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869. All the elements are ordered by increasing atomic number, or the number of protons it has (a proton is a tiny, positively charged particle in all atoms). For example, since Hydrogen has one proton, it is located in the top left corner of the table. This is a useful method of organizing elements, because each element has a different number of protons.

The table is organized into periods (rows) and groups (columns). Each group contains elements with the same number of valence electrons. Electrons are tiny, negatively charged subatomic particles, and valence electrons are the electrons that determine how an atom of one element will interact with atoms of other elements. Therefore, elements in each group have different properties when it comes to chemical interactions.

Radioactive Elements

Radioactive elements are unstable and emit particles of matter and light as they break down over time. Many elements, especially those that are not naturally occurring and have a large number of protons, are radioactive. This is because the larger an atomic nucleus gets, the more its protons repel one another with their positive charges, making it, in general, less stable, or more radioactive.

Thanks to technology like proton accelerators, scientists have the ability to create elements. By colliding different elements at extremely high speeds, scientists can form atoms that can arrange themselves with a new number of protons and electrons. Recently discovered elements include Element 115 and Element 113.

In 2010, researchers in the GSI Helmholtz Center For Heavy Ion Research in Germany were able to create a new element. Element 117, known temporarily as Ununseptium, is extremely unstable and decays in just 50 milliseconds. However, it can form an atomic structure, giving it the status of an element. 

This super heavy element was missing from the periodic table. Once it is confirmed by a panel of scientists, all it needs is a cool new name!

Courtesy CSMonitor, Lawrence Livermore

Comments

Zcat's picture
Zcat January 26, 2015 - 1:54pm

They should call the "the Periodic Table" "the Periodic Table of naturally occurring atoms"

sammy138's picture
sammy138 January 22, 2015 - 6:10pm

i know it omg

cassiew's picture
cassiew January 16, 2015 - 9:02am
cool but........................
a11200's picture
a11200 May 23, 2014 - 9:12am
Well if they make it stable enough I might use it in my gravity car, how it works is confidential.
pb's picture
pb May 20, 2014 - 3:11pm
I meant aren't elements a kind of energy source?
a11200's picture
a11200 May 23, 2014 - 9:11am
NO. Elements are structures that have kinetic energy. These elements are made up of three sub-atomic molecules. protons which are stationary and have a positive static charge which keeps electron that have a negative static charge in an orbital. These two have charges of energy. These are the basic charges and the cannot be extracted because they are the charge. These charges have kinetic energy and taking even a single atom would cause a nuclear disturbance. to safely collect electrons from loosely packed atoms you must have a generator or a tubing. Once you understand how they work you will under stand that element have energy sources whig are sub-atomic.
pb's picture
pb May 20, 2014 - 3:07pm
It sounds like it might be a powerful element. I wonder if they are going to use it for some sort of energy source. Because aren't atoms some kind of energy?
Clara Roberts's picture
Clara Roberts May 15, 2014 - 8:24pm

Very COOL!

Aditya08's picture
Aditya08 July 27, 2014 - 8:27pm

It is because the the atom shell is so packed, the protons combine with protons, electrons with electrons, and neutrons with neutrons. Now the protons, electrons, and neutrons are like big, juicy, fat tomatoes in a very tight bowl. Now you now what is going to happen ... SPLAT! Those huge tomatoes just blew up!

Vibhu's picture
Vibhu May 14, 2014 - 4:22pm

I wonder what they r going to name it

matthewx's picture
matthewx May 14, 2014 - 3:39pm

cool

PacMan512's picture
PacMan512 May 12, 2014 - 1:18pm

so they found a new element? thats interesting!