A research group led by Kosuke Morita working for RIKEN has officially discovered the 113th element in the periodic table, which along with elements 115 117 and 118 being found in joint US Russian experiments conducted at Lawrence Livermore in California and Oak Ridge Labs in Tennessee rounds out the seventh row of the periodic table.
I would temper enthusiasm about said discoveries because of the nature of the isotopes recorded so far, all 4 are very heavy and extremely unstable, and until we can figure out a way to control the number of neutrons in these experiments to find the stable isotope if it exists then the discover is not much more than a scientific curiosity, and a blip on a spectrograph.
And while the Riken group led by Morita already has plans for an experiment to begin forming row 8 starting later this year, we are pushing the limits of the periodic table being periodic, aside from the general rule of most things heavier than Plutonium have short brutish lives that end in a bit of a bang. And while I do not wish to dampen the spirits of research teams that worked long and hard to accomplish their tasks we must remember this field of study is essentially Inorganic Chemistry and Physics’ form of Formula 1 racing it is there to push boundaries solely for the purpose of pushing boundaries with only occasional benefits to the rest of society, aside from satisfying completionists who will have that joy ruined before long.
Credits and References:
IUPAC Press release
RIKEN Group Press Release
IFLS Article with the Periodic table