International Year of the Periodic Table: Closing ceremony with GSI participation


It was the culmination of an extraordinary anniversary year: the closing ceremony of the International Year of the Periodic Table proclaimed by the United Nations, recently held in Tokyo. 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the periodic table. The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung was also represented at the festive event in Japan. With its decades of successful research and the discovery of six new chemical elements, GSI contributed significantly to the updating of the periodic table.

GSI as an institute of element discoverers has played a major role in the further development of the periodic table: In experiments at the GSI accelerator facility, research groups led by Professor Peter Armbruster, Professor Gottfried Münzenberg and Professor Sigurd Hofmann succeeded in discovering the six elements 107 to 112. Furthermore, under group leadership of Dr. Matthias Schädel, the first chemical classifications of some of these elements were carried out. GSI also succeeded in producing elements 113 to 117 and thus confirming initial discoveries from Japan and Russia.

One highlight of the closing ceremony in Tokyo focused on the topic "Creation of superheavy elements". Scientists who produced and discovered superheavy elements appeared on stage to celebrate the completion of the seventh row of the periodic table. GSI was represented by Dr. Alexander Yakushev for element 107 (bohrium), Professor Christoph Düllmann for element 108 (hassium), Professor Michael Block for element 109 (meitnerium), Professor Karlheinz Langanke for element 110 (darmstadtium), Dr. Dieter Ackermann for element 111 (roentgenium), and Dr. Jadambaa Khuyagbaatar for element 112 (copernicium). In addition,
speeches were be given by prominent scientists from the laboratories that contributed largely to the discoveries. Research Director Professor Karlheinz Langanke presented GSI and FAIR.

From the very beginning, the internationality of GSI, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, has been very important: All elements were discovered in transnational collaborative efforts within the research teams. With the construction of the international accelerator center FAIR this success story is currently being continued and further intensified. With the FAIR facility, scientists from all over the will be able to study the universe in the lab to address fundamental problems such as the origin of heavy elements in the universe or the structure of neutron stars, but also to advance applications from material sciences to medicine. (BP)

More information

International Year of the Periodic Table

Activities of GSI and FAIR on 150 years periodic table