SCHOOL science textbooks have been rendered somewhat obsolete by the news that four new elements have been added to the periodic table.
Completing the table’s seventh row the elements are the first to be added since 2011 and were discovered by scientists in the US, Japan and Russia.
Verified on December 30 by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry elements 113, 115, 117, and 118 were deigned to have sufficient evidence to warrant their conclusion on the table, a cornerstone of scientific education across the world.
The names are temporary and will be changed in the near future to a mythological concept, mineral, place or country, a property, or named after a scientist. Element 113 will be the first to be named in Asia.
All four new elements were man-made and discovering by smashing light nuclei against one another and analysing the subsequent radioactive decay, with each existing only for a tiny fraction of a second before degenerating into other elements.
Former Nobel laureate in chemistry, Ryoji Noyori, has said “To scientists, this is of greater value than an Olympic gold medal”.