2019: The International Year of the Periodic Table of Elements

2019 is the International Year of the Periodic Table of Elements. Here, we discuss the history of the periodic table as well as the designated year.


Elements 113, 115, 117 and 118 — fill out the seventh row of the periodic table of the elements. All are superheavies. That’s why they sit at the base right of the bench (see above). Naming rights classically go to those who find an element. And that’s what happen here. Element 113 was found by scientists at RIKEN in Wako, Japan. They have requested to call it Nihonium, to be shortened as Nh. This name comes from Nihon. It’s Japanese for “Land of the Rising Sun,” which is what a lot of people call Japan. Element 115 will turn out to be Moscovium, abridged as Mc. It refers to the Moscow area. And that was where the combined organization for Nuclear Research is based (Dubna). It exposed number 115 in a teamwork with researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee. That’s why Tennessee also gets a periodic table entry. It’s the home location of ORNL, Vanderbilt University & the University of Tennessee. So element 117 will become Tennessine and will be represented by the symbol Ts.

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