With the manufacture of element number 115 - Ununpentium - science has added another element to the periodic table.
An international research team from the University of Lund in Sweden has created a new element - number 115 - by colliding two other elements in a giant particle accelerator in Germany. They thereby add an element to the periodic table, the large scientific overview of all elements in the universe.
The new element does not occur naturally, and if the researchers make it into a few atoms, the element disappears in less than a second.
Read more about the periodic table.
Around the earth in a second
The researchers have made element 115 by hitting two lighter elements against each other. For a month they bombarded a thin foil of the element americium (atomic number 95) with ions of calcium (atomic number 20). Together, the two elements have 115 protons in their atomic nuclei, and as a result, their product became the element with atomic number 115. In the particle accelerator, the calcium ions were hunted up to approximately 30,000 kilometers per second. At that speed, the ions could travel around the earth in just over a second.
Heavier than uranium The substances produced in the laboratory have in common that they are heavier than uranium: element number 92 and the heaviest element in nature. That is why they are called transuric elements. Elements with atomic numbers higher than 104 are also transurane and also super heavy. Particle physicists hope to be able to create a super-heavy element that is stable enough to last for a few seconds. Nuclear physics calculations show that element 126 may be such a super heavy stable element.
Read all about the hunt for the perfect element in Science in Focus 4/2014. If you have an account on the website, you can download the article below.
Interactive pediatric system
On the internet you can find a lot of information about the fascinating elements.
One of the best examples of an interactive periodic table can be found on the ptable.com website.
Here you can not only click on all elements - you can also sort them by properties, which connections they make and their temperature.
Go on a journey of discovery in the periodic table.