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3 Sep 2013 20:48 Age: 2 year
Category: Press Releases

About Element 115 - Time to Make More Room at the Table?

3 September 2013 - Chemistry enthusiasts and periodic table aficionados woke up last week to the exciting news that the existence of element 115, known temporarily as ununpentium, has been claimed by researchers at Sweden’s Lund University.[1] Their research is being published in this week’s edition of Physical Review Letters.

For IUPAC, this important confirmation will become part of the review of the relevant literature pertaining to recent claims. Element 115 is not a new case for the IUPAC/IUPAP Joint Working Party (JWP), which determines the priority of claims to the discovery of new elements.[2] About 10 years ago, groups of Russian and American researchers made claims that ununpentium had been synthesized.

The task of the JWP is very critical as it results in formally assigning discovery to a specific group. At that point, the naming process, also managed by IUPAC, can start.[3] The group that is ultimately recognized for having discovered a new element is invited to propose a name and symbol for that element. After examination by the IUPAC Inorganic Chemistry Division, the proposed name and symbol are revealed to the scientific community and the public and a public review period of five months is initiated. Ultimately, and if there are no counter indications, the name and symbol are formally approved by the IUPAC Council.

The process is lengthy, but ultimately the new element will take its place in the periodic table with a unique and recognizable symbol. Element 115 sits right between flerovium (114) and livermorium (116), which were added to the periodic table in 2012.[4]



(1) http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/o.o.i.s?id=24890&news_item=6082

(2) Pure Appl. Chem. Vol. 83, No. 7, pp. 1485-1498 (2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1351/PAC-REP-10-05-01

(3) Pure Appl. Chem. Vol. 74, No. 5, pp. 787-791 (2002); http://dx.doi.org/10.1351/pac200274050787

(4) Pure Appl. Chem. Vol. 84, No. 7, pp. 1669-1672 (2012); http://dx.doi.org/10.1351/PAC-REC-11-12-03


The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) serves to advance the worldwide aspects of the chemical sciences and to contribute to the application of chemistry in the service of Humankind. As a scientific, international, non-governmental and objective body, IUPAC can address many global issues involving the chemical sciences. IUPAC is recognized as the world authority on chemical nomenclature, terminology, standardized methods for measurement, atomic weights and many other critically evaluated data.  IUPAC is an association of bodies, National Adhering Organizations, which represent the chemists of different member countries. The work of IUPAC is done almost entirely by approximately 1400 volunteer scientists from many countries who serve on committees, subcommittees, and task groups. IUPAC´s scientific work is conducted largely under a formal project system, in which proposals from chemists worldwide are peer-reviewed and, if meritorious, are approved and supported. http://www.iupac.org