The Newer Elements

The newest elements on the periodic table are those numbered 111 through 118. On the paper chart issued by The American Society, these elements are blue; not the brighter hued blue or the violet tinted blue, but a powdery blue. On my chart which is probably five years old they are not named. (I later learned that they still do not have their permanent names.) Researching the internet, I learned their temporary names are: 111  Roentgentium; 112 Ununbium; 113 Ununtrium; 114  Ununquadium; 115 Ununpentium; 116 Ununhexium ; 117 Ununseptium; 118 Ununoctium.

Ununbrium, or element 112 was discovered in 1996 by S. Hofmann, V. Ninov and F.P. Hessbuger. As for its purpose none has been found at this time. The name un which means one has no other symbolic meaning other than it being descriptive of its number. There are 118 elements. One plus one adds up to two. How original is that? The process of its discovery came about when zinc and lead were fused.

Ununtrium numbered at 113 has been known since February 2, 2004. In Dubna, Russia scientists at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research – Russian and U.S. scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory – announced its creation. It is an artificial element and was not produced naturally. More specifically, this element is the decayed  remains of the ununpentium-287 and ununpentium-288 which is actually element 115. It has no known use at this time; except, of course when it is used in experimentation.

Ununquadium 114 was also first produced in Dubna, Russia in 1998 and with the same group of chemist that later discovered Ununtrium in 2004. Plutonium atoms were bombarded with calcium ions. The result was this element ununquadium-289 “with a half-life of about twenty one seconds.” It then becomes Copernicium-285.

Ununpentium 115 was also discovered with the same Russian and US group of scientists on February 2, 2004.

Ununhexium 116 likewise was discovered in Russia in 2000 and with the same group of chemists on December 6, 2000. They bombarded curium-248 atoms with calcium-48 ions and obtained ununhexium-292.  This isotope has a half life of about 06. Milliseconds. It becomes ununquadium-287 when decayed.

Uniseptium 117 does not exist. Only it’s name which means one one seven lives.

Ununoctium 118 is still too new and too controversial to be talked about much except in chemical circles who must deal with it. The names of this whole group from 111 to 118 has not been finalized. Temporarily each has been given he name of the Latin number, un one and so on.

The most recent elements before the un group were Darmstadium in 1994,  Hassium in 1984, Meitnerium in 1982 and Bohrium in 1981 – named for the discoverer. Others bearing discoverer’s names or honoring famous scientists are: Mendelevium in 1955, Fermium and Einsteinium in 1952 etc.

Darmstadium is actually element 110. While researching I misspelled the word. Instead of Darmstadium, I typed in Darnstadium. The first thing up was “The best darn stadium in the world is at Ohio State.” While I probably agree where football is concerned, I thought, what goes on here? Some little chemical genie inside my brain was playing finger hockey with my thoughts. At about this time Idecided to leave chemistry to those in the know and stick to how the elements are named.

Why do the elements end in ium? Apparently for no reason. All contributing information is that it is a common noun ending in Latin. Which proves to me that a lot of much to do about nothing abounds in scientific laboratories as well wherever and whenever live elements gather.