The super-heavy element, which has not yet got a name and is simply known as 117 because of its number of protons, was created by men in white coats at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research, an accelerator laboratory located in Darmstadt, Germany.

The stage is now set for it to be added to the periodic table – a Russian group also managed to successfully create element 117 back in 2010.

“Making element 117 is at the absolute boundary of what is possible right now,” Professor David Hinde, Director of the Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility operated by the ANU Nuclear Physics Department, said in a press release.

“That’s why it’s a triumph to create and identify even a few of these atoms.

“The big question is, how can we create elements 119 and 120?”

Super-heavy elements, which include all the elements beyond atomic number 104, are not found naturally on Earth.

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