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A new period in superheavy-element hunting

The periodic table as we know it now seems complete, its current 118 elements nicely fitting in the seven familiar rows. How many more can be synthesized — and how will the table expand to accommodate them? The search for ever-heavier elements is pointing towards new periods, though perhaps not as neatly ordered as the first seven.

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Fig. 1: The periodic table proposed up to element 172.

Figure adapted from ref. 15, RSC

Fig. 2: Upper end of the chart of nuclides.

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Haba, H. A new period in superheavy-element hunting. Nature Chem 11, 10–13 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41557-018-0191-8

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