Skip to Main Content

Tennessine (Ts): Halogen with Unknown Properties

Tennessine (Ts)

What is Tennessine?

Tennessine (Ts), artificially produced transuranium element of atomic number 117. In 2010 Russian and American scientists announced the production of six atoms of tennessine, which were formed when 22 milligrams of berkelium-249 were bombarded with atoms of calcium-48, at the cyclotron at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia. These atoms were of atomic weights 293 and 294. The five atoms with atomic weight 293 decayed into atoms of roentgenium, and that with a weight of 294 decayed into an atom of dubnium. During these decays, they also formed atoms of atomic number 115, or moscovium. Continue reading from Encyclopedia Britannica

The History

While tennessine was not discovered in Tennessee, the state contributed to its creation. Through a joint effort, scientists in Russia and the United States (including scientists that worked in Tennessee at Vanderbilt University, the University of Tennessee, and the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory) worked to make tennessine. While it was ultimately synthesized in Dubna, Russia, the Tennessee scientists helped pave the way for its discovery. It got its official name of tennessine in November 2016 (it had been called ununseptium, which is the Latin term for 117, denoting its 117 protons).

Scientists took calcium ions (charged calcium atoms), put them into a cyclotron, or particle accelerator, and then shot them at the element, berkelium. Scientists continued to shoot the calcium ions at the berkelium for 70 days (at a rate of 7 trillion calcium ions per second!). This first 70-day attempt produced tennessine. As is seen with many large, man-made elements, they don't last long. This was true of the tennessine produced, which decayed (or broke down) very quickly. The half-life for the tennessine produced was only 14 milliseconds. Continue reading from

Tennessine Facts

Tennessine is a radioactive, artificially produced element about which little is known. It is expected to be a solid, but its classification is unknown. It is a member of the halogen group. The element, No. 117 on the Periodic Table of Elements, had previously been designated ununseptium, a placeholder name that means one-one-seven in Latin. In November 2016, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) approved the name tennessine for element 117. The IUPAC also approved names for elements 113 (nihonium, with atomic symbol Nh), 115 (moscovium, Mc) and 118 (oganesson, Og). Continue reading from LiveScience

Chart of Elemental Properties for Tennessine

Watch a Video on Tennessine

Check out our Science Database or a Science Book from our Collection

Link to Science Reference Center Database
Link to Elemental by Tim James in the Catalog
Link to The Periodic Table: A Very Short Introduction by Eric Scerri in the Catalog
Link to Eureka by Chad Orzel in the Catalog
Link to Periodic Tales by Hugh Aldersey Williams in Hoopla
Link to Superheavy by Kit Chapman in the Catalog
Link to Absolutely Small by Michael D. Fayer in the Catalog
Link to Seven Elements That Changed The World by John Browne in the Catalog
Link to The Elements by Theodore W. Gray in the Catalog
Link to 10 Women Who Changed Science, And The World by Catherine Whitlock in the Catalog
Link to From Arsenic to Zirconium by Peter Davern in the Catalog
Link to Chemistry Demystified by Linda Williams in the Catalog
Link to The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean in the Catalog

Return to the Periodic Table of Elements Resource Guide Series