Get ready to ring in 2017 with a brand new Periodic Table, because four more elements have officially been added to the seventh row: nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts), and oganesson (Og).
We’ve been hearing about these four new elements since January, but the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has finally announced that the names have been officially approved, so we’ve got the go-ahead to tear down all our posters and find some new ones.
"Following a five-month period of public review, the names earlier proposed by the discoverers have been approved by the IUPAC Bureau," the organisation announced today.
"Keeping with tradition, the newly discovered elements have been named after a place or geographical region, or a scientist," they add.
"The ending of the names also reflects and maintains historical and chemical consistency: '-ium' for elements 113 and 115 and as for all new elements of groups 1 to 16, ‘-ine' for element 117 and belonging to group 17 and '-on' for element 118 element belonging to group 18."
The following names and symbols are now officially assigned:
- Nihonium and symbol Nh, for the element 113,
- Moscovium and symbol Mc, for the element 115,
- Tennessine and symbol Ts, for the element 117, and
- Oganesson and symbol Og, for the element 118.
In case this is all coming as a bit of a shock to you, back in January, it was announced that the IUPAC had officially confirmed that four new elements had been discovered.
At the time, they were known simply as 113, 115, 117, and 118, and were assigned temporary names and symbols: ununtrium (Uut), ununpentium (Uup), ununseptium (Uus), and ununoctium (Uuo).
The teams of Russian, American, and Japanese researchers behind the four new element discoveries were then tasked with naming their respective finds, and in June, their suggestions were officially submitted for review.
Now that those names have been approved according to the IUPAC’s stipulations, the final step has been completed for the transition into an updated Periodic Table.
To get to know our four new friends a little better, nihonium is derived from "Nihon", a Japanese word for Japan, and moscovium honours the Russian capital city, Moscow.
Tennessine is named after the state of Tennessee, known for its pioneering research in chemistry, and it marks the second US state to be honoured on the periodic table. The first was California, referenced by californium (element 98).
Oganesson is named after 83-year-old Russian physicist Yuri Oganessian, and this is only the second time a new element has been named for a living scientist.
So there you have it. Great work, science, we did it!
If you’re looking to update your bedroom wall, classroom, or shower screen, there’s a great collection of new Periodic Tables to download and print over at Science Notes.
And if you want the OG (no, not oganesson), you can head to the IUPAC website to download their new version.