Livermorium and flerovium could soon occupy the 114 and 116 spots on the periodic table of the elements. The names for the elements, which were synthesized a decade ago, were announced Thursday by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.
Lawrence Livermore National Labs
Chemistry's periodic table can now welcome livermorium and flerovium, two newly named elements, which were announced Thursday (Dec. 1) by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. The new names will undergo a five-month public comment period before the official paperwork gets processed and they show up on the table.
Three other new elements just recently finished this process, filling in the 110, 111 and 112 spots.
All five of these elements are so large and unstable they can be made only in the lab, and they fall apart into other elements very quickly. Not much is known about these elements, since they aren't stable enough to do experiments on and are not found in nature. They are called "super heavy," or Transuranium, elements.
The newly named elements fit in the 114 and 116 spots, down in the lower-right corner of the periodic table, and were officially accepted to the periodic table back in June. They originally were synthesized more than 10 years ago, after which repeat experiments led to their confirmation.
Elements 113, 115, 117 and 118 have also been synthesized at Russia's Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, located in Dubna, Russia (about two hours drive from Moscow), but their creation hasn't been confirmed by the International Union yet. Once they have been confirmed, they will also have to go through the naming and public-commenting periods.