Scientists Welcome Two New Elements to the Periodic Table

  • Share
  • Read Later
Daniel Hurst Photography/Flickr/Getty Images

You may have grown up thinking you knew what was what in science, back when Pluto was a planet, the opposite sex had cooties, and the last 10% of every beverage was known to be backwash. But things change, including the periodic table, which just made two new elements official.

Sadly, they don’t have names yet, according to the AP. So for now, we’ll just have to call them #114 and #116 (numbers which refer to the number of protons in their nuclei and which give them their unique boxes on the table). We know that they last for less than a second, and that “the new elements were made by slamming two lighter elements together in the hopes that they’d stick.”

(MORE: A Brief History of the Periodic Table)

Elements are sometimes listed before they’re voted into the table, as was the case with #114 and #116 before an international committee of scientists gave them the go-ahead, and as is currently the case with #113 and #115, who continue to languish in periodic table purgatory. The total number of officially recognized elements, a Carnegie Mellon professor told the AP, is now 114, given this condition. He also noted that over the last 250 years, elements have been added every two-and-a-half years on average. Which all goes to show, saying “It’s science,” might not be as definitive a statement of truth as you thought.

0 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest