Thursday 14 January 2016
The discovery of elements with atomic numbers 113,115,117 and 118 has now been confirmed officially by the Joint Working Party for the Discovery of New Elements (JWP) of IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry). This means that the whole of the seventh row of the periodic table is now complete, with element 118 completing the noble gases group.
Scientists now have the task of deciding what to call them. Traditionally new elements have been named after a mythological concept, a mineral, a place or country, a property, or a scientist.
It might be an interesting exercise to get your students to come up with some potential names. You could also test whether they really understand how the periodic table has the shape it does by asking them to give the full electron configuration of element 118!