Get ready to revise everything you know about chemistry - A new superheavy element is about to be added to the periodic table, just as soon as its creators can think of a suitable name for it.
The new element, created by a team at the German GSI Centre for Heavy Ion Research in 1996 by fusing atoms of zinc and lead, has finally been approved for addition to the periodic table by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, following successful independent verification of the experiment that created it. The only problem is, the new element (which has an atomic number of 112, making it the one of the heaviest elements in existence) doesn't have a name yet - something that the 21 person GSI team is planning to change in the next few weeks. Team lead Sigurd Hoffman has some idea of where to get the name, at least:
I think we will try to find somebody who makes some big contribution to the thinking of mankind and who has had cultural influence.
We've come up with a better idea: Why not call it vibranium, just for the comic geeks in the science world to smile knowingly at? Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below, if you can come up with something better.
First new element for five years makes periodic table [New Scientist]