January 4, 2016 1:25 pm

Four new elements added to Periodic Table

Kosuke Morita, the leader of the Riken team, smiles as he points to a board displaying the new atomic element 113 during a press conference in Wako, Saitama prefecture on December 31, 2015.

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Memorizing the Periodic Table of Elements just got a little bit harder.

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry has confirmed the discovery of four new elements, which complete the seventh row of the table.

The new atomic elements — with temporary names and symbols — are: 113 (ununtrium, Uut); 115 (ununpentium, Uup); 117 (ununseptium, Uus) and; 118 (ununoctium, Uuo).

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Element 113 was discovered by Japanese scientists at Riken Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science, while elements 115 and 117 were discovered by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

Element 113 was actually discovered in 2004, but due to its very short half-life — less than a thousandth of a second — it made confirming the discovery difficult. The Japanese team, however, met the criteria for naming the new element late last year.

“Now that we have conclusively demonstrated the existence of element 113, we plan to look to the unchartered territory of element 119 and beyond,” Kosuke Morita, who was leading the research at Riken, said in a statement.

This is the first time new elements have been added since 114 and 116 were discovered in 2011.

–with files from The Associated Press

© 2016 Shaw Media

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