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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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. stonetools says:

    Possible name: unobtainium?

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Cool! The link is incorrect though.

  3. @Rusty Shackleford:

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

  4. PJ says:

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

  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.

  6. Argon says:

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

  7. PJ says:

    Humptydumptium isn’t taken yet.

  8. JWH says:

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