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Elements heavier than uranium (with 92 protons) are not usually found in nature, but they can be forced into existence in laboratories.The trouble is: the larger an atomic nucleus gets, the more its protons repel one another with their positive charges, making it, in general, less stable, or more radioactive.The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. Physicists have created one of the heaviest elements yet, an atom with 117 protons in its nucleus.The High Flux Isotope Reactor is a DOE Office of Science User Facility.For more information, visit https://gov/content/element-117-resource-page. UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy's Office of Science.Over a year-long campaign, ORNL produced and then shipped the 22 milligrams of berkeleium-249 to Russia, where the experiment that would yield element 117 was carried out with a heavy-ion cyclotron at Russia's Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna.
In addition to element 117 (tennessine), ORNL-produced materials and isotopes via the DOE Isotope Program have been used in the discoveries of superheavy elements 104 (rutherfordium), 105 (dubnium), 106 (seaborgium), 114 (flerovium), 115 (moscovium), 116 (livermorium) and 118 (oganesson).
30, 2016 — The recently discovered element 117 has been officially named "tennessine" in recognition of Tennessee’s contributions to its discovery, including the efforts of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and its Tennessee collaborators at Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee.
"The presence of tennessine on the Periodic Table is an affirmation of our state's standing in the international scientific community, including the facilities ORNL provides to that community as well as the knowledge and expertise of the laboratory's scientists and technicians," ORNL Director Thom Mason said.
Element 117, for example, has a half-life of about 50 thousandths of a second, meaning that within that time about half of it will decay into a lighter element. S.–Russian team first created element 117 in 2010 at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia.
The element is still considered unofficial, and has not yet been formally accepted and added to the periodic table by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).
The specific spelling of tennessine was chosen because the new element is classified as a halogen, a type of element that by convention ends in the suffix "-ine." Halogens include elements such as chlorine and fluorine.