Element Discovery Timeline

When Were the Elements Discovered?

The last four elements to be discovered are nihonium, moscovium, tennessine, and oganesson.
The last four elements to be discovered are nihonium, moscovium, tennessine, and oganesson.

Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Library, Getty Images

Here's a helpful table chronicling the discovery of the elements. The date is listed for when the element was first isolated. In many cases, the presence of a new element was suspected years or even thousands of years before it could be purified. Click on an element's name to see its entry in the Periodic Table and get facts for the element.

Ancient Times - Prior to 1 A.D.

Time of the Alchemists - 1 A.D. to 1735

1735 to 1745

1745 to 1755

1755 to 1765
--

1765 to 1775

1775 to 1785

1785 to 1795

1795 to 1805

1805 to 1815

1815 to 1825

1825 to 1835

1835 to 1845

1845 to 1855
--

1855 to 1865

1865 to 1875

1875 to 1885

1885 to 1895

1895 to 1905

1905 to 1915

1915 to 1925

1925 to 1935

  • Rhenium (Noddack, Berg, & Tacke 1925)

1935 to 1945

1945 to 1955

1955 to 1965

1965 to 1975

  • Dubnium (L Berkeley Lab, USA - Dubna Lab, Russia 1967)
  • Seaborgium (L Berkeley Lab, USA - Dubna Lab, Russia 1974)

1975 to 1985

  • Bohrium (Dubna Russia 1975)
  • Meitnerium (Armbruster, Munzenber et al. 1982)
  • Hassium (Armbruster, Munzenber et al. 1984)

1985 to 1995

  • Darmstadtium (Hofmann, Ninov, et al. GSI-Germany 1994)
  • Roentgenium (Hofmann, Ninov et al. GSI-Germany 1994)

1995 to 2005

  • Nihonium - Nh - Atomic Number 113 (Hofmann, Ninov et al. GSI-Germany 1996)
  • Flerovium - Fl - Atomic Number 114 (Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 1999)
  • Livermorium - Lv - Atomic Number 116 (Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 2000)
  • Oganesson - Og - Atomic Number 118 (Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 2002)
  • Moscovium - Mc - Atomic Number 115 (Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 2003)

2005 to Present

  • Tennessine - Ts - Atomic Number 117 (Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Vanderbilt University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory 2009)

Will There Be More?

While the discovery of 118 elements "completes" the periodic table, scientists are working to synthesize new, superheavy nuclei. When one of these elements is verified, another row will be added to the periodic table.