A new discovery will require an addition to the periodic table, with the confirmation of a previously unknown element in Europe.

The existence of an element with the atomic number 115 has been confirmed by an international team based at Germany’s Lund University, confirming earlier reports on measurements performed by research groups in Russia.

“This was a very successful experiment and is one of the most important in the field in recent years”, said Dirk Rudolph, Professor at the Division of Atomic Physics at Lund University.

The team made the discovery by bombarding a thin film of americium with calcium ions, then measuring photons in connection with the new element’s alpha decay. Certain energies of the photons agreed with the expected energies for X-ray radiation, which is a ‘fingerprint’ of a given element.

The new super-heavy substance has no name, but is being temporarily referred to as 'Ununpentium'. A large committee of international experts will now review the findings to decide whether to recommend further experiments before the discovery of the new element is acknowledged.