Ununseptium: The newest addition to the periodic table


Using the Transactinide Separator and Chemistry Apparatus (or TASCA), an international team of physicists from the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany was able to create four atoms of ununseptium, confirming the findings of a new element initially discovered by a separate team of scientists four years ago.

The super-heavy radioactive atom was accidentally discovered in 2010 when American and Russian scientists witnessed the decay of an unknown element at the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions. During an attempt to create element 119, which has yet to be discovered, ununseptium was generated when a particle accelerator fired calcium ions at berkelium, a slow decaying radioactive actinide that was first discovered at the University of California, Berkley in 1950.

Like most other super-heavy elements, ununseptium exists for merely fractions of a second inside the particle accelerator before it decays into radioactive isotopes of dubnium and lawrencium. Since the initial discovery four years ago, this is the first time that the element has been independently confirmed.

The research was published in the journal of Physics Review Letters on May 3 and is pending review by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), the organization responsible for ordering and naming the elements of the periodic table.



About Author

Poet, web designer, and tech writer, Brad Bailey is co-founder of Tech Gen Mag. Having once been a regular in the Orange County poetry circuit, Brad set his notebooks aside to assist childhood friend, Kristian Markus, with the task of building a web-based tech magazine. Born into the Nintendo generation, Brad is a longtime fan of video games, gadgets, and computers.

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