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Science

Meet Ununseptium, Best Contender Yet For Element 117 54

Posted by timothy
from the new-number-between-7-and-8 dept.
From Motherboard comes this description of what may turn out to be the newest entry on the periodic table, newly synthesized element 117, created by researchers at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research of Darmstadt, Germany, and described in results published this week in Physical Review Letters. From the article: "Element 117 has been temporarily given the very literal name ununseptium (one-one-seven in Latin), and will only honored with a real name once the the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics and Chemistry (IUPAPC) confirms its synthesis at the GSI accelerator. Ununseptium is 40 percent heavier than lead, making it on par with the heaviest atoms ever observed. ... Its properties seem to confirm that the existence of the so-called “island of stability”—a theory suggesting that the half-lives of superheavy isotopes will lengthen as their atomic numbers increase further away from uranium. Any element with an atomic number greater than 103 is considered superheavy (or in the 'transactinide class,' if you prefer the scientific jargon). Transactinides can only be observed artificially in a laboratory, and synthesizing them is no easy task." Note: that "real name" process isn't a mere formality; just a few years ago, another attempt to synthesize a 117th element looked promising enough to be declared done, but could not be confirmed with the IUPAPC's tests.
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Meet Ununseptium, Best Contender Yet For Element 117

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  • Link to paper (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2014 @09:42AM (#46912553)

    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.172501

    Posting as AC so as not to karma-whore.
    - Esteanil

  • by RogueWarrior65 (678876) on Sunday May 04, 2014 @10:16AM (#46912669)

    From a scientific point of view anyway. From Predator 2: "This doesn't correspond to anything on the periodic table." Really? I'd propose naming a new element Hollywoodium but I think that would introduce more problems than it would solve.

    • My votes in for Unobtanium

    • by sconeu (64226)

      Yeah, Hollywood would insist on DRM in the periodic table.

    • by tragedy (27079)

      That one bothered me at the time. Since then I've become more relaxed about it. There are actually a lot of possibilities for solid matter that aren't on the periodic table. Things like exotic purely non-baryonic matter, or combinations of baryonic and non-baryonic matter. Atoms with electrons replaced by Muons, for example. Many of the theoretical ideas for such exotic forms of matter have been ruled out, but there's a still a _lot_ out there. We are not yet remotely at the point where we can know for sure

    • Hereby declare support for naming Ununtrium (element 113) as:

      Pixarium

  • by Rambo Tribble (1273454) on Sunday May 04, 2014 @10:47AM (#46912781)
    Ununseptium sounds like a nasal condition caused by the consumption of cocaine.
    • by Trepidity (597)

      It'll eventually get a "real" name. This is the temporary IUPAC systematic name [wikipedia.org].

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Ununseptium's name has been up for debate for years.

      Hell, I'm surprised this thread hasn't even suggested one based on Halo - Master Chief's designation number was, after all, 117. (He is "officially" known as John-117, or Spartan-117, depending on whether you want to personify him or not).

      Every other thread on Uus has suggested it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Does anybody know the half life?

  • Does it have 117 protons or not?!

  • by Brucelet (1857158) on Sunday May 04, 2014 @02:45PM (#46914201)
    Well with a name like that, it's not like there was much competition. Ununhexium tried, but he just didn't have enough in him.
  • by _hAZE_ (20054) on Sunday May 04, 2014 @05:27PM (#46915215) Homepage

    Meanwhile, the "IUPAPC" was still operating under their very literal name, International Union of Pure and Applied Physics and Chemistry. They have applied with the Advanced Center Reportedly Of Naming Your Movement (ACRONYM), however the application is still pending certification.

  • It's an obvious thing, yet apparently wilfully ignored: Dalton, the first scientist to come up with a recognisable modern atomic theory, is not honoured in the naming of the elements, yet all sorts of (no doubt worthy, but obscure) physicists have been, and even having their universities honoured (Berkelium, Lawrencium, etc). It's really about time this oversight was corrected. Personally I feel it should have been done for something a lot more common and 'early', but as we're now mopping up the tail-enders
  • It's May the 4th, this element has the highest Protonian count ever observed, so I suggest Anakinium.
  • I again politely ask the next door scientists to consider naming the new element for the castle ruin just south of Darmstadt. Frankensteinium has such a nice ring to it.
  • For a moment there, I thought they discovered Unobtainium [wikipedia.org] and thought... wtf, we'll be drilling for the core [wikipedia.org] of the earth soon... :)
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