School textbooks will require re-writing following the addition of four new elements to the periodic table.
Discovered by scientists in Russia, Japan and America, the four super-heavy chemical elements are the the first to be added to the table since 2011, when elements 114 and 116 were added.
They complete the seventh row of the table, immediately rendering the world’s science textbooks out of date.
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry verified the four new elements on December 30.
A Russian-American team at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna were deemed to have produced enough evidence to claim the discovery of elements 115, 117 and 118 - the first new additions to the table since 2011, when elements 114 and 116 were added.
The elements, discovered by scientists in Japan, Russia and America, are the first to be added to the table since 2011, when elements 114 and 116 were added.
Credit for element 113 went to a team from the Riken institute in Japan who now plan to “look to the unchartered territory of element 119 and beyond.”
Ryoji Noyori, former Riken president and Nobel laureate in chemistry said: “To scientists, this is of greater value than an Olympic gold medal”.
“The chemistry community is eager to see its most cherished table finally being completed down to the seventh row,” said Professor Jan Reedijk, president of the Inorganic Chemistry Division of IUPAC.
“IUPAC has now initiated the process of formalising names and symbols for these elements temporarily named as ununtrium, (Uut or element 113), ununpentium (Uup, element 115), ununseptium (Uus, element 117), and ununoctium (Uuo, element 118).”
New elements can be named after a mythological concept, a mineral, a place or country, a property or a scientist.
The four new man-made elements only exist for fractions of a second before decaying into other elements, formed from collisions of lighter nuclei.