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The Future Of The Traditional Periodic Table


Post 150 years of the existence of the Periodic Table, it has more stories hidden behind its structured rows and columns, than the numbers of elements altogether. We are approaching the future of the traditional periodic table. Having a look at the traditional version might take you down the memory lane to a long-ago chemistry class. But however, the stories behind these properly oriented elements have stories far more interesting than these elements themselves. That being said, this is not a regular, boring article that’ll tell you how exactly the periodic table evolved. But moreover, it aspires to make you come across some lesser-known facts. And for sure, these facts might fascinate you more than your chemistry lectures!

When Dmitri Mendeleev proposed the periodic table around 150 years ago, it added another long chapter into our science books. However, what was unknown was what’s inside the atom. But today, however, in a single glance we are able to figure out what the properties of these elements are. Moreover, how are they related to each other. We can figure out how everything that makes up the world that we live in resides in a single page. But the question is how did these elements get there?

How far does the periodic table go?

It is the most dynamically evolving asset of elemental chemistry. As we celebrated its 150th-anniversary last year,  we’ve also come across the discovery of 4 new elements. The existence and addition of elements 113, 115, 117, and 118 has been confirmed. And this completes the 7th row of the traditional periodic table. Nihonium (Nh, element 113), Moscovium (Mc, element 115), Tennessine (Ts, element 117), and Oganesson (Og, element 118) are the proposed IUPAC names of these elements. Most of these were first synthesized back in 2002-2003. In other words,fusion of different atoms created these highly unstable elements. All these elements that have been recently discovered in the last few decades are the most super-heavy elements ever existed. Moreover, they’re so radioactive that they’re extremely unstable, lasting only for a fraction of a second.

Do these elements matter for good?

Offizielle Benennung für vier neuentdeckte Elemente des ...

As these elements only exist for a mere fraction of a second, it becomes very difficult to actually put them to use. Moreover, these super-heavy elements take the atomic instability to a whole new level. We can’t even predict their physical states at room temperature. Because the time frame of their existence makes recording these readings very difficult. It is difficult to predict their chemical properties from the groups that they have been added to. This is mainly because they are so heavy that such a large number of electrons are expected to give rise to some trend breaking properties. Obviously, for now, these elements have no useful applications. However, the research based on the fundamental of the “island of stability” might put these elements to use.

‘Island of Stability’ of the periodic table elements

Sciency Words: Island of Stability | Planet Pailly

The island of stability refers to a region of the periodic table comprising of super-heavy elements that have at least one isotope with a relatively long life span. It basically means that the element exists in the island of stability if only specific combinations of its electrons and protons exist for a very long time. We can predict the locations of these islands by maximizing the binding energy and testing the stability of the atoms of these elements. A  fixed combination of the number of protons and electrons, called a magic number, measures the stability of these elements.

Elements present on the island of stability are prone to have various different shapes. But these properties are very well going to affect the configuration of atoms and isotopes, changing the face of modern chemistry in the upcoming decades. While there are new elements yet to be discovered, the periodic table that we study today is expected to look very different in the coming times.

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