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Science Innovation Centre · 118 · Oganesson

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Oganesson is a synthetic chemical element with symbol Og and atomic number 118. It was first synthesized in 2002 by a joint team of Russian and American scientists at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia. In December 2015, it was recognized as one of four new elements by the Joint Working Party of international scientific bodies IUPAC and IUPAP. It was formally named on 28 November 2016. The name is in line with the tradition of honoring a scientist and recognizes nuclear physicist Yuri Oganessian, who has played a leading role in the discovery of the heaviest elements in the periodic table. It is one of only two elements named after a living person at the time of naming, the other being seaborgium.

Oganesson has the highest atomic number and highest atomic mass of all known elements. The radioactive oganesson atom is very unstable, and since 2005, only five (possibly six) atoms of the nuclide 294Og have been detected. Although this allowed very little experimental characterization of its properties and possible compounds, theoretical calculations have resulted in many predictions, including some surprising ones. For example, although oganesson is a member of group 18 – the first synthetic element to be so – it may be significantly reactive, unlike all the other elements of that group (the noble gases). It was formerly thought to be a gas under normal conditions but is now predicted to be a solid due to relativistic effects. On the periodic table of the elements it is a p-block element and the last one of the 7th period.