In December, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry officially recognized the discovery of elements 113, 115, 117 and 118, filling out the seventh row of the periodic table. As is traditional in chemistry, the naming rights go to the discoverers: Scientists at RIKEN in Wako, Japan, named element 113, and a Russian-U.S. collaboration named the others.
Element names have to follow certain rules — that means no Element McElementface. In line with convention, the proposed names for the four elements are derived from scientists’ names and geographical locations of research institutes. After a five-month public review period and approval by IUPAC, the names will become official.
How to name new chemical elements (IUPAC Recommendations 2016)
The guidelines for the naming the elements were recently revised and shared with the discoverers to assist in their proposals. Keeping with tradition, newly discovered elements can be named after:
- (a) a mythological concept or character (including an astronomical object),
- (b) a mineral or similar substance,
- (c) a place, or geographical region,
- (d) a property of the element, or
- (e) a scientist.
The names of all new elements in general would have an ending that reflects and maintains historical and chemical consistency. This would be in general “-ium” for elements belonging to groups 1-16, “-ine” for elements of group 17 and “-on” for elements of group 18. Finally, the names for new chemical elements in English should allow proper translation into other major languages.
- Element 113 is dubbed “nihonium” and will sport the chemical symbol Nh. Its name comes from the Japanese word “Nihon,” or “Land of the Rising Sun,” a name for Japan.
- Element 115 will receive the moniker “moscovium,” shortened to Mc, after the Moscow region, home to the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, where the element was discovered in collaboration with researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
- Tennessee also gets a periodic table shout-out. The proposed name for element 117 is “tennessine,” after the home state of Oak Ridge, Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee. It will bear the symbol Ts.
- Element 118 will be named oganesson, or Og, after Russian physicist Yuri Oganessian, who contributed to the discovery of several superheavy elements.
- Four newest elements on periodic table get names | Science News
- BBC Science – The periodic table: how elements get their names
- The state of Tennessee has been nominated for immortalization in the periodic table — Quartz
- IUPAC is naming the four new elements nihonium, moscovium, tennessine, and oganesson – IUPAC | International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
- Image Credit : E Otwell for Science News.