Seventh Row of Periodic Table Completed

What do the nation of Japan, the state of Tennessee, and the city of Moscow have in common with Russian nuclear physicist Yuri Oganessian? If you hadn't guessed, all four just had elements named after them, marking the observation and naming of all elements in the seventh row of the periodic table.Nihonium, moscovium, tennessine, and oganesson are the latest additions to the chart, assigned to elements with atomic number 113, 115, 117, and 118 respectively. Atomic number refers to the number of protons in each atom's nucleus, and correspondingly to the number of electrons that orbit the protons and neutrons. It is the number of electrons that primarily determines an element's physical properties.

Element 113, nihonium, was named after the nation of Japan—Nihon means "Land of the Rising Sun" in Japanese. Nihonium was synthesized in Japan, by bombarding a block of bismuth with a ions of a heavy zinc isotope (zinc-70) at extremely high speeds. Researchers didn't identify the new element directly, but rather its decay products—nihonium is highly unstable, so right now the only way to figure out that you had some is to look at the pieces it breaks into.


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