Ununpentium, New Synthetic Element Confirmed By Swedish Scientists

Currently called ununpentium after its location in the periodic table, the 115th element is looking for a name. What would you call it?

Ununpentium, New Synthetic Element Confirmed By Swedish Scientists

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have confirmed the existence of a new, synthetic element, seven years after it was discovered by Russian and American scientists. Although it doesn’t have a proper name yet, Ununpentium, so called after its place–115th–in the periodic table is a superheavy element that is actually the by-product of bombarding another element, americium, with calcium, and whose existence only lasts for a fraction of a second.

Before No. 115 takes its place at the periodic table, it has to be rubber-stamped by the experts–in this case, a committee whose members come from the various international bodies of pure and applied physics and chemistry. The table’s most recent recruits include copernicium and livermorium, which was named in May 2012. So, what would you call this one? It’s a favorite of conspiracy theorists who have claimed it’s used in UFO technology, and Call of Duty gamers.

[Image: Flickr user Brian Cantoni]

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My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.



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