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New elements join the periodic table

Nov. 8, 2011 at 5:43 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Chemistry students bent on memorizing the periodic table of elements have three new names to commit to memory, scientists meeting in Britain said.

The General Assembly of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, taking place at the Institute of Physics in London, approved the names of three new elements, the Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

Elements 110, 111 and 112 have been named darmstadtium (Ds), roentgenium (Rg) and copernicium (Cn).

Known as super-heavy elements, they are large, unstable atoms that can only be created in the laboratory and quickly break down into other elements.

Copernicium, discovered in 1996, was named after astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who died in 1543 and first suggested that Earth revolves around the sun.

Roentgenium, discovered in 1994 at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Germany, has been named for German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, the first person to produce and detect X-rays in 1895.

Darmstadtium was discovered by the same group in 1994 and named after the city of Darmstadt, where the GSI Helmholtz Center is based.

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