Element 117 was first created in a joint collaboration between American and Russian scientists back in 2010. However, before an element can be officially added to the Periodic Table of Elements, its discovery must be independently confirmed.
Ununseptium, like many superheavy elements near the end of the periodic table, is incredibly unstable, existing only for fractions of a second before decaying into other elements. In fact, scientists didn’t actually observe any atoms of element 117 – its existence was confirmed by its decay. Indeed, the elements that 117 decays to themselves decay. This can be of unique interest to scientists, though, who in the process of trying to discover element 117 also discovered two of its decay products – isotopes of elements 103 and 105 – that are among the most stable superheavy isotopes yet discovered. Read More