Scientists in Japan claim to have synthesized element 113

A group of scientists from Japan announced this week that they have been able to successfully synthesize the rare element 113. The element is also called ununtrium. If the scientific breakthrough is confirmed it will mark the first time Japanese researchers have been the first to synthesize an element from the periodic table. The feat, if confirmed, will mark the first time an Asian research team has been allowed to name an element.

In case you're wondering, Ununtrium means one-one-three (see what they did there) and is only a temporary name. The lab created element is said to be extremely unstable, and the researchers claim to have been attempting to create the element for over nine years before finally being successful last month. The research team has been working at the RIKEN Linear Accelerator.

The team synthesized the element when they collided zinc with bismuth. Zinc has 30 protons, and bismuth has 83 so the collision resulted in an atom packing 113 protons in the nucleus according to the researchers. One catch with the creation of the element is that it degrades quickly. It's also worth noting that the scientists point out there evidence has not yet been peer-reviewed.

Interestingly, an element with even more protons in the nucleus has been synthesized previously by different researchers. That element is called 118, having 118 protons in its nucleus, which was given a temporary name ununoctium. The scientists are also looking to the future with a new goal of synthesizing element 119 and beyond.

[via LA Times]