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Japanese scientists create new element

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A Japanese research institute has created a previously unknown 113th chemical element.

Element 113 is an atom with 113 protons in its nucleus

A team at the state-backed science institute RIKEN in Saitama Prefecture created the new element by bombarding bismuth atoms with zinc in a particle accelerator.

The team closely monitored the transition process to other elements and concluded that the new element is the 113th to be proven to exist.

If the results are confirmed by an international organization, RIKEN will be the first Asian institute to have the right to name a new element.

Kosuke Morita, senior researcher at RIKEN, says he is confident in the results and that the creation of a new element is a big step for science.

"For over nine years, we have been searching for data conclusively identifying element 113, and now that at last we have it, it feels like a great weight has been lifted from our shoulders," Kosuke Morita, leader of the research group, said in a statement.

Elements starting with hydrogen, with the atomic number of 1, through to plutonium, 94, exist naturally. Those from 95 through the 116 have been created and confirmed, excluding those with the atomic numbers of 113 and 115.

Read more about the element on CBS.