According to an article published by the magazine Nature Physics Perspective, a group of North American scientists which work in the creation of heavier chemical elements not present in nature foretell the end of the periodic table. In 2019, it will become 150 years old.
After a decade of investigations, in 2016 were created the last 4 elements: nihonio, moscovio, tennessina and oganeson with a high number of protons in the core, which make them heavy and unstable and whose atomic numbers are 113,115,117 and 118 respectively.
With more than 104 protons, the elements are labeled as super heavy. The limit seems to be in the 172 protons, with which the atoms can form physically a united core by the nuclear power.
This power avoids its disintegration but only for a few fractions of second. In theory, it is impossible to achieve that the cores merge above this number.
The cores made in laboratories are unstable and are disabled spontaneously little after getting formed.
In the case of the heavier than oganeson (the 118, the heaviest so far) could be so fast that it does not allow to have enough time to attract and capture an electron to form an atom which implies to maintain always in gathering shapes of protons and neutrons.
If so, this would challenge the way scientists define and understand today atoms, described as the central core with electrons which are orbits like planets around the Sun.
In the quest for these answers, scientists work to find the 119 element with which the periodic table will add an eighth line or period.
For researchers continues the question if super heavy cores can be produced in the space. The challenge is that theses ones are so unstable that are disassembled before adding more neutrons and form the super heavy cores, which makes it difficult their production in stars.
It is expected that through advanced simulations scientists could see this elusive cores through patterns seen in the synthesized compounds.
Meanwhile, the quest for heavier elements will continue as long as the experimental capacities progress.
They do not know what aspect they will have but the acquired experiences so far could mean the end of the periodic table.
As a disposition of chemical elements organized by their atomic number, the first version of the periodic table was published by Dimitri Mendeleyev in 1869 and since then it has been widened by the discovery of new elements and the development of theoretical models to explain the chemical performance.