Scientists in the Land of the Rising Sun are laying claim to one of the missing pieces on the periodic table of elements, although the name might be deemed to be unlucky for some – element 113, as it is. The Japanese scientists have discovered Element 113, where it is an atom that has 113 protons in its nucleus, making it a type of matter which at this point in time, must be created within a laboratory setting simply because of one reason – you cannot find it naturally here on earth. There are heavier and heavier synthetic elements created throughout the years though, where at this point in time, the most massive one is element 118, dubbed ununoctium on a temporary basis.
Element 113 did not come by easily though, as it is notorious for being difficult to create, taking years in the process by researchers over at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science in Japan. Well, we are glad to see that their dogged persistence has finally paid off, where on August 12th this year, element 113 in all of its unstable glory was formed, albeit decaying quickly. This still left the team jubilant who declared that they have sufficient data to cite as proof of the accomplishment.
Kosuke Morita, leader of the research group, mention, “For over nine years, we have been searching for data conclusively identifying element 113, and now that at last we have it, it feels like a great weight has been lifted from our shoulders. I would like to thank all the researchers and staff involved in this momentous result, who persevered with the belief that one day 113 would be ours. For our next challenge, we look to the uncharted territory of element 119 and beyond.”