When Were the Elements Discovered? Timeline and Periodic Table   Recently updated !


When the elements were discovered (periodic table).

When the elements were discovered (periodic table).

This periodic table chronicles the discovery of the chemical elements. The date is given for when an element was first isolated in pure or nearly pure form. In some cases, the existence of an element was suspected or predicted several years or even thousands of years before its purification. You can click on the periodic table or its image link to save or print it. The element discovery periodic table is also available in PDF format.

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Timeline of Element Discovery

Note sometimes there are two dates for an element, when discovery and isolated were separated. For more recently discovered elements, discovery dates and credit may be hotly disputed even today.

Ancient Times: Before 1 A.D.

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Lead
  • Tin
  • Mercury
  • Sulfur
  • Carbon

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

  • Arsenic (Magnus ~1250)
  • Antimony (17th century or earlier)
  • Phosphorus (Brand 1669)
  • Zinc (13th Century India)

1735 to 1745

  • Cobalt (Brandt ~1735)
  • Platinum (Ulloa 1735)

1745 to 1755

  • Nickel (Cronstedt 1751)
  • Bismuth (Geoffroy 1753)

1755 to 1765

No new elements discovered in this date range.

1765 to 1775

  • Hydrogen (Henry Cavendish 1766)
  • Nitrogen (Rutherford 1772)
  • Oxygen (Priestley; Scheele 1774)
  • Chlorine (Scheele 1774)
  • Manganese (Gahn, Scheele, & Bergman 1774)

1775 to 1785

  • Molybdenum (Scheele 1778)
  • Tungsten (J. and F. d’Elhuyar 1783)
  • Tellurium (von Reichenstein 1782)

1785 to 1795

  • Uranium (Peligot 1841)
  • Strontium (Davey 1808)
  • Titanium (Gregor 1791)
  • Yttrium (Gadolin 1794)

1795 to 1805

  • Vanadium (del Rio 1801)
  • Chromium (Vauquelin 1797)
  • Beryllium (Discovery: Louis Nicloas Vauquelin 1798; Isolated: Friedrich W√∂hler & Antoine Bussy 1828)
  • Niobium (Hatchett 1801)
  • Tantalum (Ekeberg 1802)
  • Cerium (Berzelius & Hisinger; Klaproth 1803)
  • Palladium (Wollaston 1803)
  • Rhodium (Wollaston 1803-1804)
  • Osmium (Tennant 1803)
  • Iridium (Tennant 1803)

1805 to 1815

  • Sodium (Davy 1807)
  • Potassium (Davy 1807)
  • Barium (Davy 1808)
  • Calcium (Davy 1808)
  • Magnesium (Black 1775; Davy 1808)
  • Boron (Discovery: Gay-Lussac & Thenard June 1808; Isolated: Humphry Davy July 1808)
  • Iodine (Courtois 1811)

1815 to 1825

  • Lithium (Discovery: Johan August Arfvedson 1817; Isolated: William Thomas Brande 1821)
  • Cadmium (Stromeyer 1817)
  • Selenium (Berzelius 1817)
  • Silicon (Berzelius 1824)
  • Zirconium (Klaproth 1789; Berzelius 1824)

1825 to 1835

  • Aluminum (Wohler 1827)
  • Bromine (Balard 1826)
  • Thorium (Berzelius 1828)

1835 to 1845

  • Lanthanum (Mosander 1839)
  • Terbium (Mosander 1843)
  • Erbium (Mosander 1842 or 1843)
  • Ruthenium (Klaus 1844)

1845 to 1855

No new elements discovered in this date range.

1855 to 1865

  • Cesium (Bunsen & Kirchoff 1860)
  • Rubidium (Bunsen & Kirchoff 1861)
  • Thallium (Crookes 1861)
  • Indium (Riech & Richter 1863)

1865 to 1875

  • Fluorine (Moissan 1866)

1875 to 1885

  • Gallium (Boisbaudran 1875)
  • Ytterbium (Marignac 1878)
  • Samarium (Boisbaudran 1879)
  • Scandium (Nilson 1878)
  • Holmium (Delafontaine 1878)
  • Thulium (Cleve 1879)

1885 to 1895

  • Praseodymium (von Weisbach 1885)
  • Neodymium (von Weisbach 1885)
  • Gadolinium (Marignac 1880)
  • Dysprosium (Boisbaudran 1886)
  • Germanium (Winkler 1886)
  • Argon (Rayleigh & Ramsay 1894)

1895 to 1905

  • Helium (Discovery: Pierre Janssen and Norman Lockyer 1868; Isolated: William Ramsay, Per Teodor Cleve, Abraham Langlet 1895)
  • Europium (Boisbaudran 1890; Demarcay 1901)
  • Krypton (Ramsay & Travers 1898)
  • Neon (Ramsay & Travers 1898)
  • Xenon (Ramsay & Travers 1898)
  • Polonium (Curie 1898)
  • Radium (P. & M. Curie 1898)
  • Actinium (Debierne 1899)
  • Radon (Dorn 1900)

1905 to 1915

  • Lutetium (Urbain 1907)

1915 to 1925

  • Hafnium (Coster & von Hevesy 1923)
  • Protactinium (Fajans & Gohring 1913; Hahn & Meitner 1917)

1925 to 1935

  • Rhenium (Noddack, Berg, & Tacke 1925)

1935 to 1945

  • Technetium (Perrier & Segre 1937 )
  • Francium (Perey 1939)
  • Astatine (Corson et al 1940)
  • Neptunium (McMillan & Abelson 1940)
  • Plutonium (Seaborg et al. 1940)
  • Curium (Seaborg et al. 1944)

1945 to 1955

  • Mendelevium (Ghiorso, Harvey, Choppin, Thompson, and Seaborg 1955)
  • Fermium (Ghiorso et al. 1952)
  • Einsteinium (Ghiorso et al. 1952)
  • Americium (Seaborg et al. 1944)
  • Promethium (Marinsky et al. 1945)
  • Berkelium (Seaborg et al. 1949)
  • Californium (Thompson, Street, Ghioirso, and Seaborg: 1950)

1955 to 1965

  • Nobelium (Ghiorso, Sikkeland, Walton, and Seaborg 1958)
  • Lawrencium (Ghiorso et al. 1961)
  • Rutherfordium (L Berkeley Lab, USA – Dubna Lab, Russia 1964)

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 Elements?

The discovery of 118 elements completes the first seven periods of the periodic table, but scientists are working to synthesize new elements. When another discovery is verified, another row (period) will be added to the table.

Note: There is an earlier version of the element discovery periodic table, but it doesn’t include the most recently discovered elements.

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