Two New Seats at the Periodic Table

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry [IUPAC] has announced the approval of names for two elements, atomic numbers 114 and 116.   Both are man-made elements, first synthesized at the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, in collaboration with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California.

Element 114, first synthesized in 1998, has now been named flerovium (symbol Fl), in honor of the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions in Russia.  The lab is named in honor of Russian physicist Georgiy Flerov (1913-1990), who  made significant contributions to the study of nuclear physics.

Element 116, first synthesized in 2000, has been named livermorium (symbol Lv), in honor of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.  Another heavy element, lawrencium (atomic number 103, symbol Lr), was previously named for Ernest Lawrence, the lab’s founder.  Livermorium was synthesized by colliding calcium nuclei (atomic number 20, Ca) with curium (atomic number 96, Cm); the resulting livermorium decays rapidly to flerovium.

The “Wired Science” blog at Wired also has an article on the announcement.

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