Two new elements have been added to the periodic table. Elements 114 and 116 are now officially recognized by an international committee of chemists and physicists, the Associated Press reports.
Both elements are very heavy, in atomic terms. They are radioactive and exist for less than a second before decaying into lighter elements. Their Wikipedia pages will offer you more details about them than you probably want to know: 114, 116.
The two new elements are unnamed right now. For the time being, element 114 is called ununquadium. Number 116 is dubbed ununhexium. Scientists use generic, number-based names for new elements until they are given official names, like argon, plutonium and unobtainium.*
The discoverers have proposed a name for 114: flerovium, after Russian scientist Georgy Flyorov, Wired reports.
The elements were added after a three-year review by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, the BBC reports.
As a side note, you may or may not know that the periodic table as pictured above is not the only way to arrange the elements into a pattern that makes a lot of deep sense. The fact that there are alternate periodic table presentations has fascinated me ever since chemistry class in high school. Check out some of the alternatives on the Wikipedia** or here for a spiral layout or here for a whole database of alternate layouts.
** Sorry for the glut of Wikipedia links in this post, but it really is a great source for raw scientific information.