To Mark 'Ununseptium,' The Brand-New Periodic Table Element 117, We Bring You Our Favorite Chemistry Cat Memes
What's for dinner? Ununseptium. That is, if you're eating off the periodic table! Sorry guys, chemistry jokes are hard. But in serious news, chemists have discovered element 117, or rather, created it. Ununseptium , the latest element to join its brothers and sisters on the table, was synthesized at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research, an accelerator laboratory located in Darmstadt, Germany. New elements are created by slamming particles into each other in these accelerators, thereby changing the number of protons in an element's nucleus. In this case, the particles were element 97, Berkelium and element 20, Calcium.
Element 117 is thus named because it has 117 protons in its nucleus, and has the proud distinction of being the heaviest element known to man. 40 percent heavier than lead, this is no easy accomplishment.
Though ununseptium has been created and observed in a scientific setting, don't expect to be able to check the little guy out at a museum anytime soon. The element only exists for a fraction of a second before decaying, and has actually only been successfully created four times. According to Australian National University (ANU) Professor David Hinde, one of the scientists involved in the new element's creation, “Making element 117 is at the absolute boundary of what is possible right now.”
All elements beyond 104 (meaning elements that have more than 104 protons in their nuclei), do not exist in nature, and have instead been created by human hands, or rather, machinery. The last element to be created was element 115, which made its way onto the periodic table in late 2013.
In honor of this momentous occasion, we give to you our favorite chemistry cat memes.