Monday, January 4, 2016

Update in the Periodic Table of Elements

In the ninth edition of Anatomy & Physiology, you may notice some missing spaces in the 7th period (row) of the periodic table of elements pictured at the bottom of p. 39. Those "missing" elements can now be filled in, according to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).

IUPAC is the "official namer" of elements, and so it's up to them, using a very careful and deliberate process of verifying experimental results from labs around the globe, to keep the periodic table of elements up to date. Last week, while we were all getting ready to celebrate the new year, IUPAC formally announced that elements 113, 115, 117, and 118 had all be officially verified, thus "completing" the seventh period (7th row) of the table.

When discussing the periodic table of elements in my A&P course, I use it to point out its usefulness in identifying the known elements and their chief characteristics. I then point out the handful of elements in the top corners of the table that are frequently encountered in the human body and, therefore, frequently encountered in the A&P course.

I bring this new information to your attention so that you can write in the new elements in your copy of Anatomy & Physiology. This news will not only keep you up to date; it will be there as a reference if any of your students asks about the missing elements on p. 39, or brings up a headline they recently saw regarding the newly verified elements. And it's a little bit of a preview to the next edition of A&P!

Want to know more?

Discovery and Assignment of Elements with Atomic Numbers 113, 115, 117 and 118

Newly updated version Periodic Table (image)

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