A Place at the Periodic Table

According to an article at the PhysOrg.com Web site, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry [IUPAC] has announced that element 112 in the periodic table will officially be named Copernicium, in honor of the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who formulated a heliocentric theory of the cosmos, most notably in his book De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres).   The new element’s symbol will be Cn; its weight is 277 times that of hydrogen, making it the heaviest element officially recognized and named by the IUPAC.   It joins a collection of heavy elements named after scientific pioneers, including Einsteinium (Es), Fermium (Fm), Mendelevium (Md), and Bohrium (Bh).

The new element was first produced in February, 1996, by a team at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Germany.

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