Element naming controversy

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Newly discovered chemical elements are usually given systematic element names and are baptized by their discoverers. In some cases, there were simultaneous discoveries, resulting in an element naming controversy . This was the case with elements 104 through 108, the history of which began in the 1960s. The conflict did not end until 1997.

The three groups that fought over the name were one American at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of the University of California, Berkeley , a Soviet one at the United Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna near Moscow, and a German group, the Society for Heavy Ion Research (GSI ) in Darmstadt .

Atomic number systematic
Final Name
Berkeley Dubna GSI IUPAC '94
104 Unnilquadium Rutherfordium (Rf) Rutherfordium (Rf)
after Ernest Rutherford
Kurtschatowium (Ku)
after Igor Kurtschatow
- Dubnium (Db)
after the city of Dubna
105 Unnilpentium Dubnium (Db) Hahnium (Ha)
after Otto Hahn
Nielsbohrium (Ns)
after Niels Bohr
- Joliotium (Jl)
after Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie
106 Unnilhexium Seaborgium (Sg) Seaborgium (Sg)
after Glenn T. Seaborg
- - Rutherfordium (Rf)
107 Unnilseptium Bohrium (Bh) - - Nielsbohrium (Ns) Bohrium (Bh)
108 Unniloctium Hassium (Hs) - - Hassium (Hs)
to the state of Hesse
Hahnium (Ha)

Igor Kurchatov was the father of the Soviet atomic bomb, which is why the name was not acceptable to Americans. The American name for Element 106 was unacceptable to some because Glenn T. Seaborg was still alive.

The proposals of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in 1994 were an attempt to resolve the conflict by naming element 104 after the Russian Dubna and element 106 being given the now-released name Rutherfordium. This was rejected by the American Chemical Society (ACS), as the discovery of 106 by an American group was not in question and that group should have unrestricted naming rights. In addition, the name rutherfordium for element 104 had already found its way into textbooks, so it should not be used for any other element.

At the 39th meeting of the IUPAC Council from August 29-30, 1997 in Geneva, the latter approved the new recommendations of the Committee on Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry ( CNIC ) and the elements were given their final names.

There was no naming controversy when the Germans proposed the element 109 meitnerium , but there was uncertainty that it would also be accepted by the IUPAC, which finally happened in 1997. (Previously, the GSI proposals for 107 and 108 were not accepted and only confirmed in 1997.)

See also

Individual evidence

  1. a b IUPAC adopts names for heavy elements - GSI proposals for elements 107 to 109 accepted . (PDF; 1.0 MB).
  2. ^ Names and symbols of transfermium elements (IUPAC Recommendations 1994) . In: Pure and Applied Chemistry . Volume 66, number 12, 1994, pp. 2419-2421 ( doi: 10.1351 / pac199466122419 ; PDF , 172 kB).
  3. ^ Names and symbols of transfermium elements (IUPAC Recommendations 1997) . In: Pure and Applied Chemistry . Volume 69, number 12, 1997, pp. 2471-2474 ( doi: 10.1351 / pac199769122471 ; PDF , 167 kB).
  4. IUPAC Adopts Final Recommendations for Names of Transfermium Elements ( Memento of the original from March 5, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . August 30, 1997 (accessed March 3, 2013).  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.iupac.org