Thursday, January 07, 2016

"Discovering" new elements

Four new elements in the periodic table have been "discovered."

But is "discovery" the right word here? Everyone already knew what these elements would be. And they weren't found in Antartica or a meteor or a distant star: they were deliberately created in a lab. It seems to me that "made" would be a more accurate description of what happened here.


  1. Or discover how to make? Many possibilities but demonstrating success is a large part of it.

  2. I didn't click through to the news stories, but I also thought it was weird that people were saying "discovered."


Current review queue

Pearce: British Journal for the History of Philosophy Deneen: The American Conservative Chao-Reiss: Computing Reviews