Published June 8, 2016 02:45 PM

Provisional names announced for super heavy elements 113, 115, 117, and 118

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Inorganic Chemistry Division has published a Provisional Recommendation for the names and symbols of the recently discovered superheavy elements 113, 115, 117, and 118.

The provisional names for 115, 117 and 118 -- originally proposed by the discovering team from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, Russia; the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California; and Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee -- will now undergo a statutory period for public review before the names and symbols can be finally approved by the IUPAC Council.

Tennessine (Ts) is proposed for element 117, recognizing the contribution of Tennessee research centers ORNL, Vanderbilt, and the University of Tennessee to superheavy element research, including the production and chemical separation of unique actinide target materials at ORNL's High Flux Isotope Reactor and Radiochemical Engineering Development Center. Actinide materials from ORNL have contributed to the discovery and/or confirmation of nine superheavy elements.

"These experiments and discoveries essentially open new frontiers of chemistry," said ORNL's Science and Technology Partnerships director Jim Roberto.

Prof. Yuri Oganessian from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and scientific leader of the team, noted the importance of international collaboration in discovering new elements and nuclei, completing the seventh row of the periodic table, and providing evidence for the long sought "island of stability" for superheavy elements. Two members of the team, JINR and LLNL, were previously credited with the discovery of elements 114 (flerovium) and 116 (livermorium).

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