Thanks to recent discoveries, the periodic table is now a little more complete.

The periodic table of elements is seen by millions of people every single day.

It's an iconic image and the tried-and-tested map of chemistry.


Also available in placemat, coffee mug, and shower curtain. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

It's in basically every science classroom in the world along with that skeleton that your teacher named Boney, Skinny, Jerry, or whatever.

"Class, we have a new student today. His name is Jimmy McRib." Photo by Douglas Grundy/Three Lions/Getty Images.

What you may not know is that the periodic table is incomplete.

Well, sort of. There's no real limit to the amount of chemical elements there can be. Elements are discovered and identified by the amount of protons in their nuclei. For example, hydrogen: one proton in its nucleus. Lithium: three protons in its nucleus. Iridium: 77 protons in its nucleus, and so on.

So far, we've been able to observe and name over 100 elements and organize them by that atomic number into the periodic table — with only a few blank spots in the seventh row.

113, 115, 117, and 118 (in grey) were left unidentified until now. 114 and 116 were added in 2011.

On Dec. 30, 2015, scientists from around the world could officially, finally, fill in those blank spots.

Elements 113, 115, 117, and 118 were officially discovered and assigned by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), a U.S.-based agency that oversees global chemical nomenclature, terminology, and measurement.

The seventh-row "superheavy" elements are the first to be added to the periodic table since 114 and 116 back in 2011.

Until now, they remained theoretical and were given placeholder names like 117's "ununseptium," which means "one-one-seven" in Latin.

The new elements can be discovered in particle accelerators similar to the famous Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images.

There's little you can do with these superheavy elements, as they don't occur in nature and are incredibly unstable, decaying faster than you can even think about blinking.

However, a popular theory among scientists is that the more we learn about superheavy elements, the closer we get to a so-called "island of stability" wherein large atoms don't immediately decay and can possibly become useful.

In the coming months, the four new elements will receive official names and instantly render every chemistry textbook out of date.

Elements 115, 117, and 118 were credited to and will be named by teams of Russian and American scientists.

Element 113, however, is its own underdog story.

In 2003, Japanese scientists at RIKEN began "bombarding a thin layer of bismuth with zinc ions traveling at about 10% the speed of light," you know, like you do.

The result of that experiment was a single, fleeting glimpse of an element with an atomic number of 113. They kept at it, and eventually created 113 several more times.

While it only lasted less than a thousandth of a second, it was enough for the IUPAC to give Japan its first naming rights to an element.

Kosuke Morita, the proud dad of element 113. Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images.

According to Kosuke Morita, Japan's RIKEN team leader, the honor of naming an element is "of greater value than an Olympic gold medal" for scientists.

Naming an element isn't like naming a bridge. When you name an element, you're putting your stamp on a fundamental and permanent building block of the universe. You've cemented your place in history.

I just hope Morita and his team come up with a better name for 113 than your science teacher did for that skeleton.

Heroes
Youtube

Flowers are a great way to express your feelings for someone. Red roses say, "I love you," but a whole garden of pink flowers screams it. One husband took the romantic gesture of getting your wife flowers to the next level.

Mr. and Mrs. Kuroki got married in 1956, and Mrs. Kuroki joined her husband on his dairy farm in Shintomi, Japan, The Telegraph reports. The couple lived a full life and had two kids. After 30 years of marriage, the couple planned on retiring and traveling around Japan, but those plans were soon dashed.

When she was 52, Mrs. Kuroki lost her vision due to complications from diabetes. Her blindness hit her hard, and she began staying inside all day. Mr. Kuroki knew his wife was depressed and wanted to do something to cheer her up.

Mr. Kuroki noticed some people stopping to admire his small garden of pink shibazakura flowers (also known as moss phlox) and got an idea. He couldn't take his wife to see the world, so he had to make the world come to his wife.

Keep Reading Show less
Family

Men are sharing examples of how they step up and step in when they see problematic behaviors in their peers, and people are here for it.

Twitter user "feminist next door" posed an inquiry to her followers, asking "good guys" to share times they saw misogyny or predatory behavior and did something about it. "What did you say," she asked. "What are your suggestions for the other other men in this situation?" She added a perfectly fitting hashtag: #NotCoolMan.

Not only did the good guys show up for the thread, but their stories show how men can interrupt situations when they see women being mistreated and help put a stop to it.

Keep Reading Show less
lop
Culture

Whenever someone's words or behavior are called out as racist, a few predictable responses always follow. One is to see the word "racist" as a vicious personal attack. Two is to vehemently deny that whatever was said or done was racist. And three is to pull out the dictionary definition of racism to prove that the words or behavior weren't racist.

Honestly, as soon as someone refers to the dictionary when discussing racism, it's clear that person has never delved deeply into trying to understand racism. It's a big old red flag, every time.

I'm not an expert on race relations, but I've spent many years learning from people who are. And I've learned that the reality of racism is nuanced and complex, and resorting to a short dictionary definition completely ignores that fact. The dictionary can't include all of the ways racism manifests in individuals and society, and the limitations of dictionary definitions make it a poor tool for discussing the topic.

Since "racism" is such a loaded term for many people, let's look at such limitations through a different complex word. Let's take "anxiety." According to Merriam-Webster, "anxiety" is defined as "apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness, usually over an impending or anticipated ill."

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy
Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

If you're a woman and you want to be a CEO, you should probably think about changing your name to "Jeffrey" or "Michael." Or possibly even "Michael Jeffreys" or "Jeffrey Michaels."

According to Fortune, last year, more men named Jeffrey and Michael became CEOs of America's top companies than women. A whopping total of one woman became a CEO, while two men named Jeffrey took the title, and two men named Michael moved into the C-suite as well.

The "New CEO Report" for 2018, which looks at new CEOS for the 250 largest S&P 500 companies, found that 23 people were appointed to the position of CEO. Only one of those 23 people was a woman. Michelle Gass, the new CEO of Kohl's, was the lone female on the list.

Keep Reading Show less
popular