Researchers in Japan, Russia and United States have contributed to the discovery of four new elements that have claimed their place in the seventh row of the periodic table rendering it complete.
The elements do not have a permanent name yet, and are currently identified by their atomic numbers: 113, 115, 117 and 118. The teams of scientists who have discovered these elements have been asked to submit name for the elements as well. Two of the elements have working name which are ununseptium and ununtrium. According to the international guidelines for picking a name for the elements state that the element can be named after a mythological concept, a scientist, a mineral or a place, country or property.
The periodic table sees these additions five years after the last addition was made. You are less likely to run into these new elements anytime soon because they have a very short span of life. Element 113 has an existence which lasts less than a thousandth of a second.
Element 113 owes its discovery to a group of scientists at the Riken Institute. A Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia as well as the Lawrence National Laboratory in California collaborated to discover the other three elements.
These new elements were discovered by shooting beams of nuclei at heavier target nuclei using a particle accelerator.
Now that the seventh period has been completed, contemplations begin about an eighth period. The question arises, why are scientists in the pursuit of new elements? Scientists are hoping to find elements that will be stable as well as useful in practical applications. So they continue to pursue the discovery of new elements till they find something that will be stable. In their attempt to discover stable elements, scientists are eventually gaining more insight into how atoms are held together.