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The Periodic Table has three more elements now

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LONDON, 26th November, 2011:- The world now officially has three more elements, taking the total count of known elements to 112. The names of the three new elements were approved by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) at its General Assembly held at the Institute of Physics in London recently. The new entrants to the Period Table are: Element 110 – darmastadtium (Ds), Element 111 – roentgenium (Rg), and Element 112 – 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.  According to Dr. Robert Kirby-Harris, Chief Executive at IOP and Secretary-General of IUPAP, the new elements were named in consultation with physicists around the world. The General Assembly includes delegates from national academies and physical societies from 60 countries around the world. Copernicium has been named after Nicolaus Copernicus, the astronomer who first suggested that the earth revolves around the sun. It is a heavy, radioactive element. It was first produced in a laboratory in Germany in 1996 when scientists smashed zinc and lead together. Roentgenum was created by scientists at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Germany. The team created three atoms of the element in 1994. It has been named after German physicist and Nobel laureate 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.

Elements need to be officially named by scientific organisations. Generally, new elements are named after the person/s who discovered them.  Copernicium was created on February 9, 1996, but its original name – ununbium – was changed two years ago when German scientists proved its existence. IUPAP accepted the proposed name and symbol for it on February 19, 2010, the 537th anniversary of Copernicus’ birth.

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