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Discoveries of the 21st century: new elements of the periodic table


The periodic system, better known as the periodic table, is a unique classification of all existing chemical elements according to their properties and depending on the charge of their nucleus. At the time of the creation of the table, only 63 of them were known, but the system created by Mendeleev was so perfect that thanks to it he was able to predict the existence of many elements not yet discovered at that time and left empty cells that were filled much later.

New chemical elements of the periodic table, discovered in the XXI century

At the moment, the discovery of four chemical elements in the 21st century has been officially confirmed. The first among them was the ununoctius. The official opening date is 2002. The synthesis was successfully carried out in the Russian city of Dubna, at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR). Its isotopes were obtained again only in 2005, and already in 2006, scientists officially presented the results of their research.

Like many new elements of the periodic table, it has a temporary name. Its atomic number is 118. The announcement of its discovery first appeared in 1999, but then it turned out that American scientists simply falsified the results of their research.

The next discovery also belongs to Russian scientists from JINR, but this time together with their Japanese colleagues from the Institute for Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN). Radioactive unutrium (whose name is also temporary) has atomic number 113. It was obtained in 2003.

Discoveries of the 21st century: new elements of the periodic table

The last of the discovered new elements of the periodic table

The next discovery took place in the same 2003, also in the laboratories of the Russian science city Dubna. The temporary name is ununpentium, the atomic number is 115. Like other elements discovered in the 21st century, it is extremely radioactive. Ununpentium does not occur in nature, so its production is possible only as a result of artificial synthesis.

The most recent new element in the periodic table, the discovery of which has so far been officially confirmed, is ununseptium. It was synthesized in 2010, all in the same JINR laboratories. The name is also considered temporary. It has an extremely short half-life of only a few tens of milliseconds.

Discoveries of the 21st century: new elements of the periodic table

Prospects for chemical research

Now scientists from various institutes, such as JINR (Russia), RIKEN (Japan), GSI (Germany), GANIL (France) and others, are working to obtain new elements of the periodic table with numbers 119–126. Their existence is predicted by theoretical science, but is still hypothetical. Some of the tasks that must be completed to obtain them are called by the luminaries of science to be extremely difficult, even at the current level of scientific and technological development.

Of particular interest is the 126th element, which has been given the temporary name unbihexium. There is an assumption that among the new chemical elements of the periodic table, this one will be the last, since according to some data, heavier atomic nuclei cannot exist. However, this question is still open today.

The chemical properties of all the latter elements have not yet been properly studied. At the moment, scientists are only making some theoretical assumptions and conjectures that have yet to be confirmed or refuted, and research in this area of ​​chemistry continues, posing more and more complex questions and tasks for researchers.

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