The recently discovered element 117 has been officially named “tennessine” in recognition of Tennessee’s contributions to its discovery, including the efforts of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and its Tennessee collaborators at Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee.
“The presence of tennessine on the Periodic Table is an affirmation of our state’s standing in the international scientific community, including the facilities ORNL provides to that community as well as the knowledge and expertise of the laboratory’s scientists and technicians,” ORNL Director Thom Mason said in a press release.
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, or IUPAC, gave its final approval to the name “tennessine” following a year-long process that began December 30, 2015, when IUPAC and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics announced verification of the existence of the superheavy element 117. That was more than five years after scientists first reported its discovery in April 2010.
IUPAC validates the existence of newly discovered elements and approves their official names.
ORNL had several roles in the discovery, the most prominent being production of the radioisotope berkelium-249 for the search. [Read more…]