A team of scientists from Tennessee has helped discover a new element that might bring the Volunteer State to the 117th slot on the periodic table. The name, “Tennessine,” recognizes the contribution of researchers at UT, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Vanderbilt University. Robert Grzywacz, director of the UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Nuclear Physics and Applicationsand a physics professor, served as UT’s connection to the project. Grzywacz helped develop a process that measures the decay of nuclear materials down to one millionth of a second, which was vital in proving the existence of the new element.
Numerous national media outlets highlighted the news. They include the New York Times, Washington Post, IFL Science, Tennessean, Yahoo! News, Vox, CNN, ABC News, Red Orbit, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Chattanooga Times Free Press, WBIR-TV Channel 10, Knoxville News Sentinel, and Oak Ridge Today. The Knoxville News Sentinel also published this editorial examining the benefits of naming the element Tennessine.