Wetenschap - 21 juni 2016

OG (1)

We all know H. And O and N. But have you ever heard of Mc, Ts or Og? These are the proposed abbreviations for the three new heavy elements moscovium (115), tennessine (117) and oganesson (118). The latter is named after the 83-year-old Russian nuclear physicist Yuri Oganessian. In recognition of his pioneering work in the field of discovering new heavy elements. 118 is the heaviest element yet.

Og (2)

Oganessian is the second researcher to be honoured with an element named after him during his lifetime. The first was Glenn Seaborg. This American chemist (Nobel prize 1951) was involved in the discovery and synthesis of as many as ten heavy elements. The tenth element, 106 on the Periodic Table, was named after him during his lifetime: Seaborgium. Bring on the Pub Quiz.


Scientists at Cambridge have discovered the tallest tree in the tropics. It is a yellow meranti of 89.5 metres in height, located in Malaysia. Just a fraction shorter than Big Ben. The previous record holder was another yellow meranti in the same country. That one was 88.9 metres tall. The measurements are taken by an experienced tree-climber. But he didn’t have time to take a photo from the top: he was attacked by bees and an eagle.


Archer fish – you know, those tropical fish that can get insects off a branch by spouting water at them – can recognize faces. Australian and British researchers have proven this. Their fish recognized (by spraying) a face they could tell ‘from thousands’. Well, from 44 other faces. With great (81 percent) precision. And that without a neocortex. So be nice to your goldfish. He or she knows who you are.