Elementary, Dear Copernicus! Three New Members Join the Periodic Table

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Schoolchildren now have a bigger task on their hands when studying science after three new elements were added to the Periodic Table.

The General Assembly of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) has approved the names of the new elements – including one which will honour the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.

The elements are numbered 110, 111 and 112 and are called darmstadtium (Ds), roentgenium (Rg) and copernicium (Cn).

The General Assembly, which consists of 60 members from different countries, approved the new names at its meeting at the Institute of Physics (IOP) in London yesterday.

Dr Robert Kirby-Harris, chief executive at IOP and Secretary-General of IUPAP, said: ‘The naming of these elements has been agreed in consultation with physicists around the world and we’re delighted to see them now being introduced to the Periodic Table.’

Although they have only just been approved to the table, the elements were discovered a long time ago.

But names need to be officially given to them by scientific organisations.

Generally, new elements are named after the person who discovered them.

According to Universe Today, Copernicium was created on February 9, 1996, but its original name – ununbium – didn’t get changed until almost two years ago when German scientists proved its existence.

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