BY MARTIN KICH
If poetry is at its core the effort to give expression to the inexpressible aspects of our experience, then science is often a kind of poetry, or at least provides a complement to the poetic impulse.
For science provides both a fundamental challenge to all simplistic notions about our existence and a constant reminder of the narrow limits of even our most advanced knowledge.
Putting the lie to the truism that there is nothing truly new under the sun, four new elements have been added recently to the Periodic Table of Elements.
This is a brief piece from the Daily Beast:
“Four new names have been added to the periodic table of elements, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) announced Thursday. Nihonium, Moscovium, Tennessine, and Oganesson are now elements 113, 115, 117, and 118, respectively, on the official periodic table. The new elements were first synthesized between 2002, but only in December 2015 did IUPAC officially recognize the discoveries as chemical elements. The suggested names were then submitted by the scientists this June.
“Nihonium, abbreviated Nh, was submitted by Japanese researchers and comes from ‘Nihon,’ the Japanese word for Japan. Moscovium (Mc) and Tennessine (Ts) were named by a team of scientists from Russia and the U.S., while Oganesson (Og) was named for nuclear physicist and prolific element discoverer, Yuri Oganessian, by the Russian team that discovered the element.”