Two new elements have been added to the periodic table, years after they were first discovered.
Elements known as 114 and 116 were officially recognised by a working group from the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), after the experiments where they were seen were successfully repeated.
The elements are formed by bombarding one element such as plutonium with another, like calcium, and hoping that they will fuse to form a new element. These new atoms only exist for a brief moment before decaying, making their difficult to prove.
IUPAC has only now decided there is enough evidence to put the existence of the elements beyond reasonable doubt, despite element 114 being first observed in 1999.
The elements are temporarily named ununquadium (IUPAC code for one-one-four-ium) and ununhexium (one-one-six-ium) while the scientists who discovered them propose formal names.
The Russian scientists are reported to be considering Russia “flerovium” for 114, after the scientist Georgy Flyorov, and “moscovium” for 116 after Russia’s capital.
Naming new elements after famous scientists is an established practice, with several heavy elements bearing names such as Polonium, Americium and Einsteinium. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/0609/breaking26.