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Swedish Scientists Discover New Chemical Element

According to scientists in Sweden, we’ve got a new addition to the Periodic Table:

BERLIN (AP) — Scientists in Sweden say they have confirmed the existence of a new chemical element, but its name may need some work.

Researchers at Lund University said Tuesday their find backs up claims by teams in Russia and the United States a decade ago that had remained unverified until now.

The Swedish scientists say they conducted experiments which allowed them to detect the ‘fingerprint’ of the short-lived but super-heavy element that’s been dubbed ununpentium.

The name, which refers to the element’s 115th place in the periodic table, is only provisional.

The element will likely get a new name if the discovery is formally approved by experts from the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics and Chemistry.

There’s been discussion for years that, at some point, science would stumble upon a series of super-heavy elements that are more stable that the ones that we’ve only been able to unlock via high-energy physics experimentation. So far, we haven’t gotten to that point, if it event exists.

Update: The link to the story initially pointed to the wrong site, it has since been fixed.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. stonetools says:

    Possible name: unobtainium?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Cool! The link is incorrect though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. @Rusty Shackleford:

    Thanks. I need to be more careful with the cut and paste. Or, I just need more coffee.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. PJ says:

    Are they going to have to redo all Breaking Bad intros now?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. PJ says:

    Also, the headline is wrong, the Swedish scientists didn’t discover the new element, they corroborated what was done by American and Russian scientists nine years ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Argon says:

    ‘ununpentium’…
    Oh dear, I think Intel already has a copyright on that name. Or maybe AMD.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. PJ says:

    Humptydumptium isn’t taken yet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. JWH says:

    it’s an element that had been sighted once, many years ago, but sporadically since? Sounds like Elvisium to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0