A new square on the periodic table

periodic table

from Wikipedia: Periodic Table

It’s easy to think of what elements would theoretically be like as they get bigger and bigger, but once you get to a certain point, they are unstable and aren’t found in nature. These large, theoretical elements don’t get official names until they are successfully produced in a lab, and are verified by an independent agency called the IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry).

Element #112 was first created in 1996 in a German lab, but it took this long to validate and reproduce their results. (It’s not easy to make these heavy elements!) The lab that first produced the element gets to name it, and they chose to call it Copernicium, in honor of Nicolaus Copernicus.”

From the GSI research institute where the work was done:

“After IUPAC officially recognized our discovery, we – that is all scientists involved in the discovery – agreed on proposing the name “copernicium” for the new element 112. We would like to honor an outstanding scientist, who changed our view of the world”, says Sigurd Hofmann, head of the discovering team.


An article about the element from Science News

Wikipedia entry

GSI press release

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5 Responses to A new square on the periodic table

  1. Matthew p says:

    How did they create the new element?

  2. Dean k says:

    Is copernicum now the heaviest element? It’s probably one of the most unstable.

  3. Philippe says:

    That is cool. Is it the heaviest element?

  4. Nick K. says:

    That is very cool. I can’t believe it took them 14 years just to make a sample of that element. It’s probably very heavy and unstable right.

  5. Harrison says:

    On Wikipedia it said the in 30 seconds it decays by half so it must be hard to keep or make. They made it by firing zinc nuclei at lead nuclei

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