The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (Iupac) has finally rubber-stamped the naming of element number 112. Copernicium, with the symbol Cn, is named after the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.

After some light-hearted banter over the name and symbol for 112, it can finally take it’s rightful place on the newest editions of the periodic table.

With element 112 out of the way, the Iupac committee can now look into claims for the discovery of heavier elements. This will include element 114, and regular readers will remember that Heino Nitsche’s group at Berkeley, California recently added weight to a claim from Yuri Oganessian’s group in Dubna over 10 years ago.


However, the Iupac committee will apparently be considering claims for elements as heavy as 118. I wonder if a certain pair of moustachioed athletes will be staking a claim of entitlement for that one…

‘Element 118? Got your number!’


Phillip Broadwith

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