• Question: Is anyone near to finding a new element?

    Asked by mrkiwi27 to Jon on 20 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Jon Benton

      Jon Benton answered on 20 Mar 2012:

      There have been many discoveries of elements in the past 50 years – however most of the new elements found can only be created in the lab and only last a very short lifetime. Elements upto 118 (Unnunoctium) have been discovered with the last element being found in 2010 (117 Ununseptium). However only 105 elements have had their physical properties tested.

      Some people are trying to make other elements with greater mass – however it is very difficult to detect them as they are around for a very short time (less than a few seconds) The likely discoverer of new elements will be either people working at CERN or the people responsible for the previous discoveries are the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia.