Physicists at the Lund University have recently confirmed the existence of an element with an atomic number 115 – the newest addition to the Periodic Table.
The synthetic superheavy element has been given the temporary name ununpentium. The name isn’t as random as it might look at first glance – the name is deriven from the atomic number 115. “Un” is from the Latin “unum” which means “one” and “Pent” is from the Greek word for five. Most scientists refer to ununpentium by its more recognizable name, element 115.
Element 115 was first synthesized in 2004 by American and Russian scientists and had its properties subsequently confirmed in various experiments until scientists at Lund University offered the final confirmations needed to make element 115 official. The longest measured half-life for element 115 to date is about 200 milliseconds; so I wouldn’t suggest making anything valuable out of the new element.
The discovery of element 115 is one of the most important things to happen in atomic physics in recent years according to Dirk Rudolph, one of the physicists on the Lund University research team.
Now, confirmation of the new element is all a matter of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. An international committee of scientists from the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry is being comprised to review the findings and decide whether or not the new element is, in fact, new and if IUPAC should acknowledge the finding.