Editor's Note: Ununoctium was formally named "oganesson," after synthetic elements pioneer Yuri Oganessian, in November 2016.
Ununoctium is aradioactive
chemical element which is classified in thenoble gases
on the periodic table of elements. This element is considered a transactinide, meaning that it shares the traits of radioactivity and extreme instability with a group of extremely heavy elements. It is also the last element in the seventh period at the bottom of the periodic table, which includes other transactinide elements.
Little is known about the chemical properties of ununoctium, which is presumed to be a colorless gas. This element must be produced synthetically in order to be studied, and it exists for only milliseconds at a time, making it difficult to identify distinct chemical properties. Ununoctium appears to be highly reactive, although only a few atoms of this element have ever been generated, detected, and observed, making determinations about the element a bit challenging. Ununoctium has an atomic number of 118, and it is identified with the symbol Uuo on the periodic table of elements.
Discovery for this element will probably go to researchers from the Russian Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and American scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The Russian and American scientists worked together at Dubna, Russia to synthesize this element by colliding californium and calcium in a linear accelerator. They announced the discovery of element 118 in 2006; the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) must confirm the discovery before it can be officially credited.
”Ununoctium” is a temporary systematic element name. Systematic element names are derived from the atomic numbers of their elements, ensuring that scientists use uniform terms to refer to elements until their official names can be determined. Typically, the name of an element is proposed by the laboratory which is given the credit of discovery; “moskovium” has been proposed as a name for ununoctium by the research team.
Given that only a few atoms of this element can be synthesized at a time, commercial uses for ununoctium are unlikely to be developed. Researchers use it to learn more about the transactinides and noble gases; ununoctium may be the heaviest gas in the periodic table, which makes it a topic of intense interest. The expensive and time involved in synthesizing ununoctium makes research on this element rather difficult; fortunately scientists do not need to worry immensely about the potential radiation hazard, as more than a few atoms are needed for serious radiation risks.