Reach for your Magic Marker: The periodic table has lost an element.
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley (Calif.) National Laboratory have retracted their claim from 2 years ago that they had created the heaviest member of the periodic table so far–element 118. The retraction dims hopes that scientists will soon find a cache of superheavy elements that would make uranium seem like a lightweight.
In 1999, the Berkeley team had reported the creation of three atoms of element 118 in a particle accelerator (SN: 6/12/99, p. 372; http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_arc99/6_12_99/fob2.htm.). At that time, the group concluded that each fleeting atom of element 118 rapidly decayed into other elements, including never-before-seen element 116.