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January 2016 Unmissable News Round Up

Throughout the UK and Ireland’s busy manufacturing and engineering industries, it’s easy not to have the time to catch up on all of the latest industry goings on. As a result of this, Plasma Treating will be running a monthly round-up of the three most important pieces of news that you need to know!

Whether you’re in Automotive or Aerospace, Medical Plastics or Motorsport, these three snippets of news are sure to be of interest to you. Be sure to check back on the first Friday of each month to catch up on our monthly round-up of three things you may have missed!

This month our focus is on ultimately the most important news that has dominated January; the periodic table. All source articles for news roundup are listed at the bottom of the page for you to catch up on the full article!

1. The seventh row of the periodic table is completed thanks to the confirmation of four new elements

periodic_table_of_elementsFour new elements with the atomic numbers 113, 115, 117 and 118 have been synthesised and confirmation  has come from the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) which completes the seventh row of the periodic table. Pictured is the once incomplete seventh row of the Periodic Table of Elements (image credit).

The groups credited with creating the new elements from across the globe, in Japan, Russia and the US, have spent several years gathering further evidence to convince experts from IUPAC and its physics equivalent, the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, of the elements’ existence. All four newly discovered elements are highly unstable, super heavy metals that exist for only a fraction of a second. If you’d like to find out more about this, take a look at our source article.

2. Beyond the seventh row of the periodic table, where are we going now?

The seventh row of the periodic table is now complete but that made us wonder where are we going now?Elements 113, 115 and 118 were discovered the early 2000s and the discovery of 117 followed shortly after in 2010, but now the question on everybody’s lips is, where are elements 119 and beyond?

Plasma Treating in Education and ResearchAs we can see, the claim of the first synthesis of a new superheavy element is heard many years before being approved and officially added to the periodic table from the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. Surprisingly, no group has yet claimed to have created an element that belongs to the eighth row of the periodic table, so it is unlikely that we will see the periodic table grow for around another decade if elements 113,115,117 and 118 are to go by!

However, the scientific community has remained persistent in uncovering the next row of superheavy elements: check out our source article to see the innovative and fascinating ways the scientific community are hoping to achieve this.

3. Is it possible that computers may never truly understand what we’re saying?

Finally we present to an interesting technology story; we’ve handpicked this one for you all because ultimately technology, machinery and artificial intelligence underpin the UK and Ireland’s manufacturing and engineering industries!

SiriFrom popular technology “personal assistants” from Apple’s Siri, pictured (image credit), to Microsoft’s Cortana, machines are becoming increasingly more efficient at communicating with humans. However, some neuroscientists are expressing concerns that today’s computers will never truly understand what we’re saying because they don’t take into account context in the way that humans do.

Why? Machines don’t develop a shared understanding of people, place or situation, which comes from a long social history and is the key to human communication. For example, Apple’s Siri bases its communication on statistical regularities; however, researchers warn that although statistical regularities may get you far, they will never match the way the brain processes communication. Communication for humans is much more than an exchange of linguistic signs or gestures but also highly influenced by social context, bringing the question, will machines ever be able to interpret this?

As the internet has been awash with articles warning of the dangers of artificial intelligence, we would highly recommend our source article’s alternative take on AI and the complexity of human communication.

That completes our top three pieces of news that we think you need to know but may have missed in January 2016. We hope to see you back here on Plasma Treating next month for our next edition of “Three things you may have missed”!

Source Articles

1.  Royal Society of Chemistry – Confirmation of four new elements completes seventh row of period table

2. Royal Society of Chemistry – Beyond Element 118: The next row of the periodic table

3. – Will computers ever truly understand what we’re saying?