Short Wave: Tennessine's Wild Ride To The Periodic Table

There are rare chemical elements, and then there is tennessine.

Only a couple dozen atoms of the stuff have ever existed. For the 150th anniversary of the periodic table, NPR science correspondent Joe Palca shares the convoluted story of one of the latest elements to be added.

Follow Maddie on Twitter @maddie_sofia. Email the team at

This episode was produced by Brit Hanson, edited by Andrea Kissack, and fact checked by Emily Vaughn.


Short Wave Podcast

It’s science for everyone, using a lot of creativity and a little humor. Join host Maddie Sofia for science on a different wavelength.

Science Topics
Chemistry, Periodic Table of Elements
Middle School, High School
7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, Adults

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