New Element 117 named Ununseptium set to join the periodic table

May 6, 2014 11:30 IST

New Element 117 which is temporarily called Ununseptium with 117 protons set to join periodic table.

It is the second-heaviest element ever created by humans after ununoctium, or element 118. Elements beyond atomic number 104 are referred to as super-heavy elements.

The latest instance of the discovery of this element was made by a team at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Germany.   The report was published in Physical Review Letters.

Ununseptium will get an official name soon and will be considered a Group VII element. It was to be put into the same family as fluorine, bromine and chlorine.

Ununseptium was produced by accelerating ions of calcium (which has 20 protons) into a target of berkelium (which has 97).

The ununseptium was observed to have a half-life of 50 milliseconds, or one twentieth of a second. It will gradually decayed into lighter elements, emitting alpha particles (a helium nuclei with two protons and two neutrons) in the process. And the lighter elements formed have a greater half-life than ununseptium.

The newly created element's half-life was too short for it to be chemically studied, but after examining the alpha particles, researchers concluded that the original element indeed had an atomic number 117.

The element was discovered back in 2010 by a group of American and Russian physicists with the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR).

Element 117 will join the periodic table once the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) confirmed its existence. After the confirmation, the body will name the new element and it will be added to the periodic table.

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