It was first announced back in December 2011 that two new elements would join the periodic table of elements. It has now become official. Flerovium and Livermorium, elements 114 and 116, were approved by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry on the 31st of May.
Until now, they have been known by their temporary names ununquadium and ununhexium. Both elements are man-made and were first synthesized at the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia in 1998 and 2000. The suggested names were pending as they were submitted to the IUPAC last year.
The elements were created by smashing together calcium ions with 20 protons into curium targets, which have 96 protons. This resulted in the creation of the new element 116, Livermorium. This element then decayed into Flerovium with 114 protons, almost immediately.
The names were chosen to honor the labs in which they were created. Flerovium was chosen for the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions in Russia, where they produce superheavy elements. The lab was named after the physicist Georgiy Flerov, who discovered the spontaneous fission of uranium, which in turn led to the USSR’s first atomic bomb.
Livermorium is named after the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, which was involved in the discovery of the heavy elements 113 to 118. Lawrencium, element 103, is named after the lab’s founder, Ernest Lawrence.
The atomic symbol for Flerovium will be Fl and Livermorium will be Lv. The names will be published in the July issue of the IUPACs journal, Pure and Applied Chemistry.
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