Did you hear the fantastic news? Four new elements have been discovered! And for all our fellow science enthusiasts, this means there's more elements to memorize. I suppose a new periodic table song should be in the making?
Names have been recently given to the four new elements. They are: Nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts), and oganesson (Og). Respectively, the protons that make up these elements are 113, 115, 117, and 118. Now the seventh row of the periodic table is complete, that is, if the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics and Applied Chemistry consult and do in fact have no objections.
The question that still remains is, how were these elements found anyway? Simple. They were made by colliding two smaller atomic nuclei together. These four new elements are deemed “extreme.” Why? Well, that's because they are synthetic creations of scientists. They are not natural borne.
So how did the elements get their names you ask? First and foremost, the name has to be unique and maintain “historical and chemical consistency.”
Nihonium references the Japanese name for Japan (nihon,日本). The atom was discovered at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator Science.
Moscovium was named after the capital of Russia, Moscow. Specifically, this atom was discovered at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna.
Tennessine sounds familiar to the United State of Tennessee right? Bingo! This atoms name is in recognition of the local contributions made to its discovery by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Vanderbilt University.
Oganesson honors the nuclear physicist Yuri Oganessian, who has played such a prominent and leading role in the search for new elements, including the one that will now bear his name.