Sunday, November 6, 2011

3 new elements named!

On November 4th, three new elements received their names. Of course, WebElements, periodic table on the web, was already on it! (Oh, and make sure to scroll down the WEbElements page and check out what the kids baked... I hope I have kids that cool one day. :)

Read about each new element:
  • darmstadtium (110) - named after the city (Darmstadt, Germany) where it was originally synthesized (in 1994)
  • roentgenium (111) - named in honor of the German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, who first discovered X-rays
  • copernicium (112) - named in honor of scientist and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus

What's interesting to me is that these elements were first observed in a laboratory in 1994, 1994, and 1996, respectively, yet it took until 2011 for them to receive names. I read this fascinating post (from 2002) about how elements are named. Even then, the author writes,
It was only in 1997 that the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, or IUPAC, proposed names for 104 - 109. These elements were created in laboratories in the United States, Russia, and Germany. Only a few atoms were created and they only existed for a short time. The naming of chemical elements is a matter of national and professional pride, however, and selecting a name these days requires a lot of bickering and bargaining. Elements 110, 111 and 112 have been created, but have yet to be named.
I liked reading the post and leaning more about how elements have been named using Latin symbols, the compounds they make up, Greek words, how the element was made, the place name where it was synthesized, mythology, and most recently, after famous scientists.

Well, armstadtium (110), roentgenium (111), and copernicium (112)... welcome to the Table!

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