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Physical Chemistry

IUPAC Approves Element Names

Flerovium and livermorium are official for elements 114 and 116

by Elizabeth K. Wilson
June 11, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 24

Credit: Shutterstock
These are the labels for new names for elements 114 and 116.
Credit: Shutterstock

More than 10 years after they were first identified, elements 114 and 116 now officially have names: flerovium (Fl) and livermorium (Lv). The International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has approved the names, which were selected by the discovering research teams. Flerovium pays tribute to the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, in Dubna, Russia, where element 114 was first observed in 1999. Livermorium is a nod to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where scientists first sighted element 116 in 2000. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists retracted a 1999 sighting of element 116 after one of the team members was found to have falsified data. Last year, a joint IUPAC and International Union of Pure & Applied Physics committee gave the elements a place on the periodic table (C&EN, June 13, 2011, page 33 ). For years, the teams at Dubna and Livermore have worked together and separately to discover and confirm the existence of other superheavy elements in addition to flerovium and livermorium. The Dubna-Livermore tandem has also observed elements 113, 115, 117, and 118, which await independent verification before naming.


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