Names Chosen For Elements 114 And 116
December 2, 2011

Names Chosen For Elements 114 And 116

On Thursday, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) proposed new names for elements 114 and 116.

A collaboration of scientists from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) said that the name Flerovium for element 114 and Livermorium for element 116 were chosen to fit the latest heavy elements.

The IUPAC officially accepted elements 114 and 116 as the heaviest elements in June 2011, ten years since scientists from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna and Lawrence Livermore chemists discovered them.

Livermorium (Lv) was chosen to honor LLNL and the city of Livermore, California.  A group of researchers from the LLNL, along with scientists at the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, participated in the work carried out in Dubna on the synthesis of superheavy elements.

The name Flerovium, which is now the atomic symbol Fl, was chosen to honor the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions.

"Proposing these names for the elements honors not only the individual contributions of scientists from these laboratories to the fields of nuclear science, heavy element research, and superheavy element research, but also the phenomenal cooperation and collaboration that has occurred between scientists at these two locations," Bill Goldstein, associate director of LLNL's Physical and Life Sciences Directorate, said in a press release.

LLNL said that its scientists have been involved in heavy element research since the Laboratory's inception in 1952, and have been collaborators in the discovery of six elements.

The team discovered elements 116 and 114 by smashing calcium ions into a curium target to create Livermorium.  LLNL said element 116 decayed almost immediately into element 114.  Scientists also created element 114 by replacing curium with a plutonium target.

"The creation of elements 114 and 116 generate hope that the team is on its way to the 'island of stability,' an area of the periodic table in which new heavy elements would be stable or last long enough for applications to be found," LLNL said in a press release.

The new element names will not be official until about five months from now when the public comment period is over.


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