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Richard Gray, The Telegraph: Periodic Table swells as three new elements named

Periodic Table swells as three new elements named
by , Science Correspondent, November 5, 2011

Chemistry students will have to learn the names of three more basic chemical building blocks on the Periodic Table after scientists approved the names of three new elements.

There’s antimony, arsenic, aluminium, selenium and hydrogen … Now school pupils will have to add three more names to the famous song that helps them memorise the names of the elements on the Periodic Table.

The General Assembly of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP), taking place at the Institute of Physics in London, has approved the names of three new elements.

Elements 110, 111 and 112 have been named darmstadtium (Ds), roentgenium (Rg) and copernicium (Cn).

The elements are so large and unstable they can only be made in the lab and quickly break down into other elements.

They are known as Super-heavy elements.

Dr Robert Kirby-Harris, Chief Executive at IOP and Secretary-General of IUPAP, said: “The naming of these elements has been agreed in consultation with physicists around the world and we’re delighted to see them now being introduced to the Periodic Table.”

The General Assembly includes delegates from national academies and physical societies from 60 countries around the world.

Copernicium was named after Prussian astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who died in 1543 and first suggested that the Earth revolves around the sun.

The atom was first discovered in 1996 after scientists in Germany smashed zinc and lead together, resulting in the heavy, radioactive element.

Roentgenium was originally discovered in 1994 when a team at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Germany created three atoms of the element.

It has been named after Nobel Prize winning German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, who was the first to produce and detect X-rays in 1895.

Darmstadtium was discovered by the same group in 1994 and is named after the city of Darmstadt, where the GSI Helmholtz Centre is based.

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